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Tillerson to Visit London Next Week, Hopes to Visit New Embassy


FILE - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at a news conference during the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Jan. 16, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will begin a European trip Sunday in London, says he hopes to visit the new U.S. Embassy there, ahead of its official opening next month — a ceremony President Donald Trump plans to skip.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Thursday that no ribbon-cutting had been planned for Tillerson's visit.

FILE - The new United States embassy building is seen during a press preview near the River Thames in London, Dec. 13, 2017
FILE - The new United States embassy building is seen during a press preview near the River Thames in London, Dec. 13, 2017

She said Tillerson was scheduled to meet with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill to discuss issues related to Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Ukraine.

Last Friday, Trump canceled his plans to open the embassy in February, saying he did not want to lend his support to a "bad deal," which he incorrectly attributed to the Obama administration. The decision to sell the old embassy was made during the George W. Bush administration and reportedly was driven by security concerns.

In a tweet, the president accused the Obama administration of selling "perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for peanuts."

Talks in Paris

While in Paris on January 23, Tillerson will hold talks with senior French officials and attend the launch of the International Partnership Against Impunity for Use of Chemical Weapons.

He will then travel to Davos, Switzerland, where he will participate in the 2018 World Economic Forum January 24-26.

The last stop will take Tillerson to Warsaw on January 26, where he will meet with senior Polish officials to discuss how to promote the U.S.-Poland relationship regarding global challenges, regional security and economic prosperity.

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