Tillerson in Egypt for start of Middle East tour

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The Secretary's itinerary includes a stop in Turkey, where he will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues. The State Department statement announcing his travel did not specify a date or location for his visit, nor did it lay out whom he would meet.

The State Department said on February 8 that Tillerson will visit Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Kuwait during his trip that has been planned for February 11-16.

He is also set to visit Jordan to meet King Abdullah II and Lebanon to meet President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

"The Egyptian people should be confident that the US commitment to continue to support Egypt in fight against terrorism and bringing security to Egyptian people is steadfast".

The Secretary will meet with senior Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss the US-Egypt partnership, how we can further strengthen it, and coordinate on key regional issues.

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Tillerson travels to Kuwait next to lead the US delegation at two global gatherings - that of the 74 members in the USA -led, anti-Daesh coalition and a conference on Iraqi reconstruction.

Tillerson is expected to meet various senior officials on the margins of both meetings before leaving the region February 16.

The Iraq Reconstruction Conference will look at private-sector investment opportunities and worldwide support for the rebuilding of Iraq. This will be an opportunity to support the Iraqi people and help impart confidence that Iraq is now open for business.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart, Tillerson also said that Washington remained committed to achieving a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, despite President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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