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Trump 'very committed' to Middle East peace process: Tillerson

06 December 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday there is still "a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved" in the Middle East, despite the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to that city.

Tillerson stopped off at Ramstein for a little under two hours while travelling to Vienna from Brussels, where he had attended a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers.

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"What I would encourage people to do: Listen carefully to the entirety of the speech, listen to the full content of the speech", Tillerson said in a news conference in Brussels, where he is attending meetings with European allies - none of which recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In a trip that will also take him to Vienna and Paris, Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive who has been at odds with Trump over issues such as North Korea, has sought to reassure European governments and US diplomats that he is in control.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is planning a trip to Africa in the first three months of next year, a senior aide said on Wednesday, amid speculation how long Tillerson might stay in the job.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met U.S. military officers on Wednesday to prepare for a trip to better coordinate American security and diplomatic strategy in Africa.

Asked if some at the White House wanted him to resign, Tillerson told reporters: "It's laughable ... laughable".

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Media reports on Thursday, first published by the New York Times, cited USA officials as saying that Trump has a plan to replace his embattled secretary of state with Pompeo, a former US congressman who now heads the Central Intelligence Agency.

Trump 'very committed' to Middle East peace process: Tillerson