Tillerson: we concerned about Iran-Israel confrontation in Syria


Despite repeated threats to punish countries that do not agree with United States policy in the Middle East, the Trump administration is set to boost aid to Jordan by more than $1 billion over the next five years.

In December, Mr Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to countries which voted in favour of a United Nations resolution calling for the USA to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It's been under development for a number of months.

Theresa May said at the time: "We disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement".

Tillerson said the proposal is "fairly well advanced" but would not comment on when the administration might put it forward.

The administration has so far been tight-lipped about the plan and Tillerson declined to offer details.

The United States has also forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states while taking a tougher line against Iran since Trump took office.

The spokesman pointed out that Sisi and Tillerson discussed various regional issues, including the situation in Libya and Syria, in addition to efforts exerted to reach a political settlement to the ongoing crises. The administration later announced an accelerated timetable for moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by the end of next year.

Jerusalem is home to sites holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians. The king has warned that Trump's decision could undermine stability and fuel radicalism.

Rex Tillerson endorses Egypt's military operation in Sinai

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, at the State Department, on January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Jordan backed the resolution. "We're not going to be taken advantage of any longer".

The annual amount includes $750 million in economic aid that will support Jordanian reform efforts and $350 million in military assistance.

Billions of dollars have been pledged at a donor conference for Iraq's reconstruction after the country's devastating war with the Islamic State group, though the amounts announced so far still fall short of the 88.2 billion U.S. dollars Baghdad is seeking.

In recent years, Jordan's economy has been battered by the conflicts in neighboring Iraq and Syria and its public debt stands at around $35 billion.

Tillerson arrived in Amman late Tuesday as part of a wider Middle East tour that has already taken him to Egypt and Kuwait.

He also said the USA needs to work with Turkey to avoid any conflict with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Photo credit should read US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gives a press conference on the sidelines of a a ministerial meeting in Kuwait City on February 13, 2018, gathering representatives of member states of the US-led military coalition that has been battling the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and neighbouring Syria. He said Iran should withdraw its forces and militias from Syria, where Tehran backs President Bashar al-Assad.

Israel, Iran's archenemy, has pledged to prevent Syria's territory being used for Iran to set up bases or transfer high-quality weaponry to Lebanon's Hizballah group, which is fighting alongside Assad's forces.

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