Tillerson from Jordan: Iran Must Withdraw its Forces, Militias from Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the State Department

"If communities in Iraq and Syria can not return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS to take root", Tillerson said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on February 11 that the Israeli air strikes in Syria dealt "severe blows" to Iranian and Syrian forces.

Responding to the comments, a senior Iranian official, Ali Akbar Velayati, said Iran's military presence in Syria was legitimate and based on an invitation from Damascus.

"Those should leave Syria who are there without the permission" of the regime, Velayati was quoted as saying by ISNA.

The president said that the United States, the main sponsor of the Middle East peace process, should work on reviving the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, Rady said.

According to a statement released by the U.S. State Department, the MOU, the first of its kind signed by the Trump administration, represents the U.S. non-binding commitment to support providing no less than 1.275 billion U.S. dollars per year in its bilateral foreign assistance to Jordan in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2022.

In terms of when President Trump will enact a peace plan, Tillerson said there is no set date. It's been under development for a number of months.

"The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS", Tillerson said at a meeting of countries that participated militarily and financially in fighting the Islamic State, using a common acronym for the group. "I will say it's fairly well advanced..."

Tillerson tried to convince regional allies-Jordan being a key player-that the U.S.is an honest broker, despite Trump's controversial decision in early December recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was widely condemned by United Nations members, including the UK, and Downing Street also vocally expressed their opposition. USA allies like Jordan and Turkey were among the most vociferous critics of Trump's decision.

Jordanian King Abdullah's Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites, making Amman particularly sensitive to any changes of status there.

Tillerson spoke at a conference in Kuwait for members of the coalition the United States set up in late 2014 with a multi-prong strategy of countering Islamic State, including through USA -led airstrikes and working to cut off the group's financing and flow of foreign fighters.



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