Tillerson planning Africa visit


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is planning a trip to Africa in the first three months of next year, a senior aide said amid speculation how long Tillerson might stay in the job.

Earlier on Wednesday, Tillerson said there was no truth to reports President Donald Trump intended to fire him and replace him with CIA chief Mike Pompeo.

Addressing the issue at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tillerson dismissed reports that overshadowed his week-long trip to Europe which highlighted the yearning of allies for stability in US foreign policy.
“Secretary Tillerson is planning a trip to Africa in the first quarter of 2018,” senior adviser R.C. Hammond told reporters at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base.

Hammond spoke during a stopover en route to Vienna where Tillerson is due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss issues including North Korea.

Tillerson said there can be no normal US relations with Russia until Moscow ends its support for separatists in Ukraine and returned the Crimea region it annexed in 2014 – comments likely to reassure Western allies.