Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Tillerson: Trump says look past turmoil and re-engage Russian Federation

Tillerson: Trump says look past turmoil and re-engage Russian Federation

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday said President Trump has made it clear the USA should work to rebuild its relationship with Russian Federation.

During a short stop over in Wellington, New Zealand, where he met with Prime Minister Bill English, Tillerson said that relations with Russian Federation are at a low point and deteriorating and Trump has asked him to stabilize the relationship and rebuild trust between the two countries.

He is the first senior member of the US Administration to visit New Zealand and US media travelling with him reported people in Wellington gave the one-finger salute at his motorcade in an apparent show of disgust over the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Speaking in New Zealand after a trip to Australia, Tillerson reiterated the USA commitment to the Asia-Pacific region as global leaders have expressed growing mistrust over the Trump administration, which has withdrawn from key worldwide agreements since taking office.

Tillerson objected to suggestions US President Donald Trump was unpredictable, saying the decisions to withdraw from the TPP and the Paris Accord were well signalled in the campaign.

Rex Tillerson is greeted with a hongi by Parliamentary kaumatua Kura Moeahu and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee on Tuesday. "I've never seen so many people flip the bird at an American motorcade as I saw today", Harris said.

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A tweet by NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, about the greeting sparked messages of support for New Zealand.

The top USA diplomat spoke in Wellington, New Zealand, where he met with Prime Minister Bill English during a brief visit.

But Mr Little doesn't support backing away from the United States relationship, saying it goes beyond any one president or any one New Zealand government.

Spokeswoman for the group 350 Aotearoa, Niamh O'Flynn, said they will be demonstrating their displeasure at the USA pulling out of the Paris Climate accord.

"I can't really comment on any of that because I don't have any direct knowledge", Tillerson told a news conference in Wellington, when asked how anxious he was that the USA political crisis could take down the Trump administration.

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