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    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) walks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before their meeting at the State Department in Washington, U.S

    'To Do List': Tillerson Hopes to Improve Ties With Russia, Settle Syria Conflict

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    Despite the fact that Russia-US ties have further deteriorated since President Donald Trump's administration had assumed office, Rex Tillerson has voiced Washington's desire to improve bilateral relations.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that he hopes during his tenure to develop better relations with Russia, "get peace" in North Korea and settle the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Libya.

    "The most important thing I want to do during the time I have — I hope we get peace in North Korea; I hope we can settle the conflicts in Syria; I hope we can settle the conflict in Libya; I hope we can develop a better relationship with Russia," Tillerson stated during his speech at the US Embassy in London.

    The relations between Russia and the US have reached a new low since Donald Trump's administration had assumed office despite the US president's election campaign hope to "get along with Russia." Since then, Washington imposed new sanctions on Moscow, targeting Russia's energy projects among other things, and also has been involved in a dispute over the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US. Recently US law enforcers conducted searches inside the buildings, prompting Moscow's strong condemnation.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany in this still image taken from video, July 7, 2017
    © REUTERS/ Steffen Kugler/Courtesy of Bundesregierung
    Despite having differences on many foreign policy issues as well, Russian officials have repeatedly voiced readiness to conduct an equal and mutually beneficial dialogue on global problems.

    During the first meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Germany, an agreement on the ceasefire in southern Syria was reached, which has contributed to the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

    Tillerson's statement comes several days after after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against Pyongyang as a response to North Korea's most powerful nuclear test conducted on September 3. The UN resolution bans Pyongyang from exporting textiles while capping how much crude oil and refined petroleum products can be imported. Natural gas condensates and liquids are also included among the items North Korea is restricted from importing in excess of UN guidelines.

    When commenting on the resolution, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow "removed all unacceptable points" from the text of the document. Previously, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concerning the document and voiced Moscow's conditions for Russia to vote in favor of it.

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    Tags:
    Rex Tillerson, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Syria, United States, Russia
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