There have been reports that President Trump is not happy with the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Though Trump tweeted and clarified that in spite of having differences on certain subjects, they are very much working together in the interests of the country, most people are not convinced.
Some of the U.S. diplomats worry that speculations about Tillerson’s status in the Trump administration might affect his visit to Europe.
Tillerson is on a week’s visit to Brussels, Vienna and Paris, where he will be talking to the Europeanallies of US. The discussion will revolve around the aggressive US agenda on Iran, Syria, Ukraine and North Korea.
Now that the disagreement between Trump and Tillerson on how to handle hot-button issues is public, it is unlikely that he will be taken seriously by the European allies.
A State Department official said,
“Foreign governments read that there’s tumult and a big controversy in the U.S., that he may be fired today which weakens your message and your negotiating position.”
Tillerson’s agenda on this visit is to gain support for Trump’s new Iran strategy, make the case for countering Russian aggression in Ukraine, to maximize diplomatic pressure on North Korea and find ways to resolve the civil war in Syria.
He will also be attending the NATO meetings where he will try to persuade all the members to take their military budgets to 2 percent of their GDPs. Though few countries have already done that or at least vowed to do that, the largest European economy, Germany is still away from the 2% mark.
Though there are many things on the agenda, it will be interesting to see how the rift between the two affects Tillerson’s visit to the European allies.