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Tillerson Will Meet Lavrov at ASEAN Meeting

Aug. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he will be meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the Philippines on the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia Summit.

"I will be meeting face-to-face with Foreign Minister Lavrov this weekend on the margins of the meetings in Manila," Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday.

Commenting on his telephone discussion with Lavrov, following Russia demanding withdrawal of a large number of U.S. diplomats from Russia, he said: "He and I have already spoken. I would say, our conversation following the actions has been professional, there’s been no belligerence." He continued:

"I think Foreign Minister Lavrov and I understand our roles, we understand our responsibilities, and I think he’s as committed as I am to trying to find ways that we can bring this relationship back closer towards one another."

Tillerson said the Russian move will negatively effect diplomatic activities in Moscow. "Does it make our life more difficult? Of course it makes our life more difficult," he said.