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Rex Tillerson endorses Egypt's military operation in Sinai

14 February 2018

Tillerson also signed a five-year aid package that extends U.S. support to Jordan, a key regional ally, despite Trump's threat to withhold support from states opposed to his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Tillerson, whose trip began Sunday, has already visited Egypt and is due in Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Turkey.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it's "too early to judge" whether a lasting diplomatic process between the Trump administration and the North Korean regime will grow from Pyongyang's current charm offensive toward South Korea around the Winter Olympics.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi stressed on Tuesday the importance to continue boosting relations between Egypt and the United States in various fields to face common challenges.

"The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat" of the IS group, Tillerson told a gathering of members of the coalition in Kuwait on February 13.

At its peak, the so-called IS caliphate controlled most of eastern Syria and about one-third of Iraq's territory.

"Our joint commitment to defeat ISIS is steadfast", Tillerson said.

Jordan will secure a promise of five more years of U.S. financial aid on Wednesday, a Jordanian official said, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to withhold support from countries that opposed his position on Jerusalem. He will also meet with Kuwaiti officials who are attempting to mediate a resolution to the disagreements between Qatar and its Arab neighbors; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. Jordan, which has a large Palestinian population, including refugees, is among the most concerned.

Tillerson is then expected in Beirut on Thursday for talks with Lebanese leaders.

Looming in the background is flaring tension between Iran and Israel.

"We have noted our concerns about the reports that Egypt's prosecutor general has launched an investigation into opposition figures ahead of the" vote, he added.

Tillerson also held private talks with President Sisi at the presidential palace.

The US officials said Tillerson will repeat warnings for Turkey to show restraint in military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria.