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US Top Diplomat to Hold Weekend Talks with Russia’s Lavrov | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Reuters – File Photo)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday he would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Manila at the weekend, their first meeting since Russia ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by 755.

“Of course it make our life more difficult,” Tillerson told reporters at the State Department when asked about the Russian action.

He said he had talked to Lavrov by phone and would be meeting with him face to face this weekend on the margins of meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.

Tillerson will travel to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia Aug. 5 to Aug. 9, the State Department said on Tuesday.

Tillerson will participate in meetings of diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, and discuss “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maritime security, and counterterrorism,” the State Department said.

In Thailand, Tillerson will pay his respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016, and discuss the US-Thai relationship with officials there. In Malaysia, he will discuss bilateral relations with officials.

“Secretary Tillerson’s travel reaffirms the Administration’s commitment to further broaden and enhance US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region,” the State Department said.