Tillerson tours US Embassy in London criticized by Trump

Frederick Owens
January 23, 2018

Mr Tillerson said: 'We are concerned about the Turkish incident in the north of Syria'.

On a bridge-building visit to London on Monday, Tillerson said there was a "common view" among the E3 - the UK, France, and Germany - and the United States that concerns around Iran's ballistic missile programme needed to be addressed. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in response that the deal could not be renegotiated.

From the Oval Office, Trump waxed lyrical about how the move was wrong and the embassy was "bad", and incorrectly insisted the move was because of the previous president.

After visiting the embassy, Tillerson, on his eighth trip to Europe since becoming secretary of state a year ago, was meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, her national security adviser Mark Sedwill and foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Britain and France are parties to the 2015 Iran deal that President Donald Trump has warned he will walk away from this spring unless fixes are made to his liking.

Asked when there would be a ribbon cutting ceremony, Ambassador Johnson said: "At some point we're going to do it, but there's no urgency to that". It is absolutely right that we should welcome him here, and it is time for Labour to end their Spartist agitations.

Trump has demanded changes be made to the nuclear deal and has threatened to withdraw US support, although earlier this month agreed again to waive nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. The invitation was accepted, but no date for the visit has been set.

Downing Street said in a statement the pair agreed on the need for the global community to unite in countering Iran's "destabilising regional activity", while the prime minister also reiterated the Britain's commitment to the nuclear agreement.

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A pillar of Britain's foreign policy for a century, the special relationship with Washington has taken on added importance as Britain prepares to leave the European Union in 2019. "We'll do it when the time is right".

From London, Tillerson will travel to Paris for talks on numerous same subjects with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

'We treasure this relationship.

He added: "So when Jeremy Corbyn dismisses that partnership, and says there is nothing particularly important about it ('no, I think there are many important relationships", he burbles) the Labour leader betrays not only his anti-Americanism but also his ignorance of this country's economic interests'.

"They discussed the continuing depth and breadth of the special relationship", a spokesperson said.

"They agreed on the importance of the global community coming together to counter Iran's destabilising regional activity, and the Prime Minister reiterated the UK's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal", the prime minister's spokesperson said, as quoted by the Independent newspaper.

On January 23 in Paris, Tillerson will meet senior French officials on the same issues, then spend two days in Davos shadowing Trump at his first visit as president to the annual economic forum.

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