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Pakistan

Web Desk
December 13, 2017

Tillerson doesn’t enjoy dealing with Pakistan

Pakistan

Web Desk
Wed, Dec 13, 2017

WASHINGTON: For Secretary of State Rex Tillerson dealing with Pakistan and North Korea are the two issues he doesn’t enjoy about his job as top US diplomat.

On Tuesday, in year-end remarks to staff, Tillerson spoke at length about the global issues and challenges the State Department faces internally and at the international level.

"Look, this is a hard job," Tillerson said at the town hall, when asked to comment on his assessment after one year in the office.

"It's difficult because of the complexity of the issues." Tillerson said that in his previous job as Exxon Mobil CEO, "I didn't have to spend a lot of time worrying about children being killed, people's rights, dignity being violated in unimaginable ways."

"The actual task at hand, dealing with North Korea, I don't enjoy that," he said. "Dealing with Pakistan, I don't enjoy," he added, and then went on to say that he drew pleasure from getting to know the staff. "I am enjoying it more," he said of the job. "When I say I'm learning to enjoy it, I am, because I'm getting to know all of you better."

In our efforts with Pakistan, Pakistan is still an important and valued partner of the United States, he noted.

“Over the last decade, the relationship has drifted, and we’ve got to bring this relationship back to one of common interest. Today that’s just not the case. And so we’re engaged in very, very frank discussions with Pakistan over the concerns we have about their own stability and their own future and the threat they’re under by allowing terrorist organizations to operate in their territory, and how we can work together to bring stability and peace to the whole region. And again, we’ve got a great team working in that region as well. A lot of work left to do.”

‘Hybrid warfare’

Tillerson branded Russia´s alleged meddling in last year´s American presidential election an act of "hybrid warfare."

US intelligence agencies have long since concluded that Vladimir Putin´s Kremlin attempted to sway US voters through cyber attacks and propaganda.

But President Donald Trump has been angered by the idea that Russia´s support for him played any role in his narrow victory against rival Hillary Clinton.

Tillerson told officials that Trump has often said it is important for two powers like Russia and the United States to have a "productive relationship."

"Russia chose through hybrid warfare to interfere in democratic processes here and then has done so in other countries as well," he added.

Asked whether the White House shares Tillerson´s view, a senior State Department official said: "Well, he´s the secretary of state and he said it."