Turkish FM: US Secretary of State to Visit Turkey on March 30

Cheryl Sanders
March 19, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told agency employees in a letter Thursday morning that next year's budget proposal, marked by deep funding cuts, is an "unmistakable restatement" of the country's needs and a harbinger of new priorities.

He also said that the 2017 budget was historically high and "not sustainable".

The president's proposal would cut 28 percent of the budget for USA diplomacy and foreign aid, Reuters reported. Tillerson's visit will be the highest level talks with a senior official from the new US administration since President Donald Trump took office in January, as Ankara hopes to have better relations with the White House.

"We understand the challenge", the former Exxon Mobil CEO said. "It acknowledges that USA engagement must be more efficient, that our aid be more effective, and that advocating the national interests of our country always be our primary mission".

"I'm confident with the input of the men and women with the State Department we'll construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient and be able to do a lot with a lot fewer dollars", he said. With that job still vacant, it has not been possible to fill the department's other senior positions.

"Trump knows Tillerson is out there", Snyder said.

A White House official said Tillerson has had good access to the president, including multiple lunches, dinners and meetings.

While McPike is the only reporter actually accompanying Tillerson on the plane, reporters who traveled to Asia on standard commercial flights will reportedly be provided access to the secretary of state. Tillerson dined with Trump on Monday, the night before he flew to Asia.

The brief news conference marked the first time the secretary of state publicly answered reporters' questions since he assumed office.

Erdogan believes ties will improve under Trump.

Chas Freeman, a seasoned diplomat since the Nixon administration, said Tillerson's low-key style might be a survival tactic. "This may be a Fabian strategy", referring to the Roman statesman Fabius who defeated the Carthaginian general Hannibal by avoiding frontal conflict.

Other reports by iNewsToday