Turkey Issues Ultimatum to Washington Ahead of Tillerson Visit

Carolyn Kaster  AP

Carolyn Kaster AP

The Trump administration's Middle East peace plan is "fairly well advanced", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday, as he sought to convince regional allies that the usa remains an honest broker despite recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday urged worldwide partners to keep up the pressure on the Islamic State, warning that the terror group remains a threat despite its loss of territory in its former Mideast strongholds.

"We have different views on Jerusalem but we share a commitment to peace", Mr Al Safadi said.

Also on February 13, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the military alliance was ready expand its training mission in Iraq.

His warning came amid escalating US-Turkish tensions over northern Syria, and a diplomatic standoff that has pitted Qatar against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. The US officials said Tillerson will repeat warnings for Turkey to show restraint in military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria.

Tillerson left open the possibility the US would restore previous years' funding levels to the agency, though he said other donors need to step up and offer more money.

"ISIS remains a serious threat to the stability of the region, our homelands and other parts of the globe", he added.

Trump tells lawmakers he's considering tariffs, quotas
Also taking aim at Seoul, Trump complained that America's 2012 free trade deal with South Korea "was a disaster". Several lawmakers cited the need to maintain USA energy independence and the electrical grid.

Speaking at a meeting of his counterparts in Kuwait City, Tillerson representatives from more than 70 nations that the coalition will not stop, "until we have achieved the full and enduring defeat of ISIS (Islamic State)". Jordan backed the resolution.

Tillerson spoke at a ministerial meeting in Kuwait of the US-led military coalition that has been fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, being held in parallel with a conference on reconstruction in Iraq.

"They know what has to be on the table for conversations".

Lodhammar said it would be "of course concerning if we don't reach the amounts envisaged and hoped for, but I believe that it is an ongoing process".

Israel, in turn, has grown increasingly alarmed about the presence of Iranian forces and allied militias, including the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, in southern Syria near the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights.

Iraqi officials seem to be pleased with the turnout of the first days of Iraq reconstruction conference, which ends on Wednesday in Kuwait, as they await participants to announce their donations as part of the global aid campaign for the reconstruction of their war-affected country.

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