Tillerson sees hard talks with Turkey on northern Syria

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Besides Egypt, Tillerson also will visit Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in coming days, where he will engage with a grab bag of the most complicated and sensitive issues embroiling the region.

US officials agreed on Friday that most of Tillerson's discussions will likely be hard, saying those with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey will probably be especially prickly given Turkish military action against USA -backed Kurdish rebels in northern Syria and escalating anti-American rhetoric in Ankara.

Jordanian leaders were upset when the United States recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and suspended some aid for the Palestinians.

The three-day Iraq Reconstruction Conference will showcase private sector investment opportunities and worldwide support for Iraq.

Kuwait has sought to broker an end to the dispute triggered when the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut off travel and trade ties with Qatar last June. Doha denies the charges and says the countries are trying to curtail its sovereignty. The United States sees Egypt as an important ally in fighting terrorists, particularly the Islamic State and its potent offshoot in the northern Sinai.

The lack of trust between Washington and Ankara grew after Turkey started an air and ground offensive in Afrin, Syria against a Kurdish group known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.

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Trains were suspended in both directions on the Gold Coast, with further interruptions between Kingston and further south. At Boonah, west of Brisbane, residents posted pictures of huge hail stones on social media.

"We are urging them [Turkish authorities] to show restraint in their operations in Afrin, and to show restraint further along the line across the border in northern Syria", said a senior State Department official.

"At times like this, engagement is all the more important", said a State Department official on Friday, while acknowledging, "It's going to be a hard conversation".

In his visit to Jordan, Tillerson will meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi to discuss the Syrian crisis, the statement added, saying, "The secretary will underscore the enduring strength of the U.S". The rhetoric is hot.

"We are going to terminate that threat", Kilic told reporters in Washington. With a large Palestinian population, Jordan is unhappy with President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there. "But they're also partners with whom we're facing some of the toughest issues that we have to face in the region". Mr Sisi has said all candidates have an equal opportunity and that the election will be free and transparent.

The U.S. officials said the aim was to keep the coalition focused on the complete defeat of the Islamic State and other militant groups, and then rebuilding war-devastated zones to prevent extremists from regaining territory.

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