This week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson traveled to Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to meet with senior officials. During this trip, Secretary Tillerson focused on bilateral relations with each country as well as efforts to promote security and economic prosperity in the region.
At the invitation of the Emir of Kuwait, Secretary Tillerson traveled to Kuwait on July 10 where he met with senior Kuwaiti officials to discuss ongoing efforts to resolve the Gulf dispute.
Secretary Tillerson then traveled to Doha, Qatar on July 11 to meet with senior officials, including Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. In Doha, the Secretary and Foreign Minister al-Thani participated in a joint press briefing. During the briefing, Secretary Tillerson discussed the importance of partnering to counter terrorism, citing the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the United States and Qatar. The Secretary stated,
“The memorandum lays out a series of steps the two countries will take over the coming months and years to interrupt and disable terror financing flows and intensify counterterrorism activities globally. The agreement includes milestones to ensure both countries are accountable to their commitments. Together, the United States and Qatar will do more to track down funding sources, will do more to collaborate and share information, and will do more to keep the region and our homeland safe.”
Secretary Tillerson rounded out his trip to the region with a stop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud. In his remarks, Secretary Tillerson underscored the joint interests shared between the United States and Saudi Arabia, to include security, regional stability, and economic prosperity.
While in Jeddah, the Secretary also participated in a ministerial meeting with Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Secretary Tillerson then closed his Middle East trip with a brief stop in Doha, Qatar on July 13 for a working meetings before returning to the United States.
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Editor’s Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.