New, Old Headaches to Greet Tillerson on Trip Middle East Trip

Tillerson is scheduled to held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Monday over enhancing U.S-Egyptian partnership and coordinating cooperation over in major Mideast issues. The Secretary will underscore the enduring strength of the US-Jordan relationship, engage with the Jordanian leadership on the conclusion of a new Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral assistance, and discuss key regional issues such as the ongoing crisis in Syria and Jordan's support for Middle East peace.

He will also discuss the status of forces in northern Syria with Turkish leadership; continue discussions with senior Egyptian officials on the Middle East peace process; attend a conference on the reconstruction of Iraq in Kuwait City; and make a rare stop in Beirut - the first such visit there by a USA secretary of state since 2014.

Tillerson will lead a US delegation in Kuwait for a ministerial meeting of the USA -led anti-Daesh coalition, and he will participate in a three-day Iran reconstruction conference.

The top envoy will also go to Lebanon to meet President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri in Beirut.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has arrived in Egypt at the start of a regional tour that coincides with heightened regional tension and unease over the Trump administration's policies in the region, concerning especially Jerusalem and the PYD's armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) forces in Syria. The Secretary will express his appreciation to Kuwait for hosting these events at a critical time.

The three-day Iraq Reconstruction Conference will showcase private sector investment opportunities and worldwide support for Iraq.

Iraq has declared its territory liberated from the ISIL group, but about 2,000 U.S. troops remain in Syria supporting a mainly Kurdish militia that controls part of the east of the country.

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