The Latest: Tillerson says US discussing Syria security zone

January 22, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends a press conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London, Monday Jan. 22, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that he sees progress in getting European support for tough new penalties against Iran that could prevent a U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. (Toby Melville/Pool via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Europe (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States is discussing with Turkey and others the possibility of setting up a security zone on the Syria border to address Turkey’s concerns about a Kurdish enclave there.

Tillerson said Monday while traveling in Europe that the U.S. recognizes Turkey’s “legitimate right” to defend itself from terrorists. But he says the U.S. wants Turkey to try to be precise in its operation in the enclave of Afrin and to limit the operation by showing restraint.

He says a security zone could help stabilize the situation and meet Turkey’s legitimate concerns for their security. Turkey considers the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Syria a terror organization because of its affiliation to Turkey’s own Kurdish insurgency.


10:50 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has become the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the new American embassy in London, a building that President Donald Trump derided for its cost and location.

Opening a nearly weeklong trip to Europe on Monday amid a government shutdown back home, Tillerson went to the embassy to greet the U.S. ambassador to Britain. A planned meeting with embassy staffers was canceled because of the shutdown.

Earlier this month, Trump said he had canceled plans to visit the London embassy in February because it cost too much and was in a less desirable location than the old embassy. Trump’s possible visit was a source of controversy in Britain, with some politicians saying he was not welcome and should not come.

Update hourly