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Tillerson Says U.S. Needs To Work with Russia on Syria, But Assad Must Go

Dec. 28, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an op-ed in the New York Times, titled "I Am Proud of Our Diplomacy," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. will cooperate with Russia.

"While we are on guard against Russian aggression, we recognize the need to work with Russia where mutual interests intersect. Nowhere is that more evident than in Syria. Now that President Vladimir Putin has committed to the United Nations-backed Geneva political process for providing a new future for Syria, we expect Russia to follow through. We are confident that the fulfillment of these talks will produce a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family,"

he wrote.

Otherwise he reiterated the Administration’s policy on North Korea, especially regarding new sanctions and China’s role in putting pressure on Pyongyang as well. Tillerson wrote:

"China has applied certain import bans and sanctions, but it could and should do more. We will also continue to pursue American interests in other areas of our relationship, including trade imbalances, intellectual property theft and China’s troubling military activities in the South China Sea and elsewhere. China’s rise as an economic and military power requires Washington and Beijing to consider carefully how to manage our relationship for the next 50 years."

Lastly on Iran, he wrote that the "flawed Iran nuclear deal is no longer the focal point of our policy toward Iran" but now entails "confronting the totality of Iranian threats." He said:

"We will continue to work with our allies and with Congress to explore options for addressing the nuclear deal’s many flaws, while building a like-minded effort to punish Iran for its violations of ballistic missile commitments and its destabilizing activities in the region."