U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson makes a trip to the Middle East. The program is a six-day visit to Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. At the last moment the program was amended.
Tillerson first arrived in Cairo (but not in Jordan, as previously assumed), where he held talks with Egyptian foreign Minister Samih Shukri. In the evening he will meet with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. One of the main themes: clarification of the positions of the parties after the Cairo condemned the decision of the U.S. President to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Also discussed bilateral relations and the theme of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.
Late in the evening of 12 February, Rex Tillerson will arrive in Kuwait to participate in international conferences dedicated to the fight against ISIS and the reconstruction of Iraq. During the talks with the Kuwaiti foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah is scheduled to discuss the details of the acquisition of Kuwait American fighters F/A-18 (the transaction amount of about $ 5 billion), as well as the situation in Iraq and a boycott of Qatar.
From Kuwait, Secretary Kerry will fly to Amman, where he will meet with king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Abdullah II and foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. According to the official Memorandum on the negotiations will be discussed concerning the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the spheres of economy, defense and security. But obviously the focus will be on issues related to us bases on the territory of the Kingdom, which are used for action against terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. Tillerson also intends to announce the selection of American government for more financial assistance to support approximately 650 thousand Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Then the planned visit to Beirut. The program of the meeting with the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliament speaker Nabih Berri. One of the main themes of negotiations: the destructive role of the Lebanese Shiite «Party of Allah» (Hezbollah) in Syria and other middle Eastern countries. Washington believes that the government of Lebanon does not control the actions of this organization, considered a terrorist in the United States. Monitoring the activities of Hizbullah from the Lebanese authorities for America, an obligatory condition of providing the country with financial and military aid.
After approval of the minutes of the last paragraph Tillerson middle East tour was Ankara where he will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
During the talks in Turkey, the theme will be clash of interests between Ankara and Washington in the North of Syria, where the Turkish army conducts operation «Olive branch» against Kurdish militias, and the United States on the other hand support the Kurds. These negotiations, the Department of state, will be very challenging. Washington, in spite of the controversy, looks forward to continued participation of Turkey in action against the «Islamic state» and other groups recognized by the Americans as a terrorist. While the US government hopes to convince his partner in NATO of the need to stop or at least limit the fighting against the Kurds in the Syrian district of Afrin. Ankara has repeatedly said that the operation against the Kurds was an internal matter of Turkey, and refused to discuss this subject with Washington.
Preparation for these negotiations continues. On the eve Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara is ready to engage in constructive dialogue with the us leadership. But on February 12 the Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yildirim stated that Turkey will not enter into «dirty bargaining» about the operations in Syria Afrin. He urged the U.S. to «come to life» and to stop providing aid to Syrian Kurds.