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Rex Tillerson US Secretary of State stops off in Geneva

Rex Tillerson at Lake Geneva

Rex Tillerson takes a stroll around Lake Geneva on Thursday, October 26, 2017

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, has visited Geneva during a week-long trip abroad that took him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and India. 

In Geneva, he held talks with the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who announced that stalled peace negotiations between the Syrian government and still-to-be-united opposition would resume in Geneva on November 28. 

Tillerson told reporters in Geneva that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his family have no role in the future Syria. He added that the Trump administration backed the Geneva peace talks as the only way to end the war in Syria and move to a political transition and elections. 

The US secretary of state was expected to meet Peter Maurer, the Swiss president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in the city, but this had to be cancelled due to “Mr Tillerson’s full appointment calendar”, according to an ICRC spokesperson. 

Meetings with the UN refugee and migration agencies in Geneva were also cancelled. 

The US is a big donor to the ICRC and both UN organisations. It has not yet, however, made public how much funding President Trump wants to cut to the UN and other international organisations. 

During his short visit, Tillerson also met staff at the US mission to the UN in Geneva.

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