Trump Secretary of State Choice to Say Russia Must Be Held to Account
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Wednesday will voice concerns about Russia's actions on the world stage and say China must help pressure North Korea to reform.
The Trump transition team circulated Tillerson's opening statement to be delivered during his Senate confirmation hearing.
In them, he will explain to some extent why Trump has been in favor of a warmer relationship with Moscow, saying Washington needs an open and frank dialogue with Russia on its ambition in order for the United States to chart its own course.
But his rhetoric expressing concern about Russia goes beyond Trump's own frequent expressions of the need for better ties with Russia after what he feels was a bungling of the relationship by outgoing US President Barack Obama.
"Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia," Tillerson will say. "But it was in the absence of American leadership that this door was left open and unintended signals were sent."
"We backtracked on commitments we made to allies. We sent weak or mixed signals with 'red lines' that turned into green lights. We did not recognise that Russia does not think like we do," Tillerson will say, according to Reuters.