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Tillerson hosts French FM Le Drian for bilateral talks

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Washington on Monday to discuss numerous bilateral issues.
"We've had a number of meetings this year so I'm looking forward to continuing that discussion," Tillerson told reporters ahead of the working lunch held at the State Department.
The State Department did not elaborate on the details of their talks but according to a statement by the French Embassy, the topics included North Korea and regional concerns in the Middle East, such as Syria, Iran, and Libya and the Sahel region.
The pair have met several times over the past year including earlier this month, when Le Drian hosted Tillerson in Paris.
During his US visit, Le Drian will also meet with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, as well as several think tank representatives.
The meeting comes on the day the US administration unveiled its National Security Strategy, which identified key challenges and trends that affect US standing in the world, including China and Russia, along with regional dictators, terrorist groups and transnational crime syndicates.
Separately, Tillerson said the strategy confronts the "unconventional threats" from non-state actors, as well as economic and national security threats from "traditional state actors" and rogue nations.
It "brings to bear all elements of American power to protect our people, generate new economic opportunities, and advance our interests and democratic principles," he noted in a statement. (end) hy.sd