You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

All eyes on Rex Tillerson's debut at G20 in Germany

Europe trip will bring him face-to-face with allies seeking reassurance from Trump on foreign policy

AFP/PTI  |  Bonn 

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex makes his diplomatic debut at a gathering in on Thursday, where his counterparts hope to find out what "America First" means for the rest of the world.

Host nation has billed the two-day meeting as a chance for the club of leading economies to discuss how to work together on challenges ranging from climate change to the conflicts in Syria, and

But all eyes will be on America's top diplomat, whose maiden trip to will bring him face-to-face with allies seeking reassurance that President Donald will not upend decades of US foreign policy despite his fiery campaign rhetoric.

will also have his first sit-down with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Bonn, talks that will be closely scrutinised for any hint of a rapprochement as controversy swirls over ties to the Kremlin.

The Texan could also face questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after caused consternation yesterday by dropping Washington's years-long quest for a two-state solution, saying he would back a single state if it led to peace.

US relations with are likewise in the spotlight.The gathering could see Tillerson's first encounter with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, whose attendance was only confirmed days earlier following a conciliatory phone call between and President

"is working out the schedule on bilateral meetings," ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, adding that Trump and had had a "very good" conversation.

During the call, Trump reaffirmed US adherence to the decades-old position that Taiwan is not separate from China, backtracking on earlier comments that cast doubt on the "One China" principle.

If former ExxonMobil boss faces the daunting task of clarifying Trump's, at times, contradictory policy signals to a wary community, he will not be doing it alone.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis is attending the second day of a meeting in Brussels Thursday, while Vice President Mike Pence will be the highest-ranking US official participating in the Munich Security Conference from Friday.

"There are plenty of uncertainties about what they want, what they plan," a European diplomat said about the Trump administration. "We hope we'll get some clarity in the weeks to come.

First Published: Thu, February 16 2017. 19:07 IST