Tags: madeleine albright | rex tillerson | nato meeting | skip | miss

Madeleine Albright: Tillerson Skipping NATO Meeting Sends 'Unfortunate Signal'

Image: Madeleine Albright: Tillerson Skipping NATO Meeting Sends 'Unfortunate Signal'
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 01:27 PM

Madeleine Albright, a secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton, said Tuesday that she's disappointed America's current top diplomat Rex Tillerson will not attend a NATO meeting next month.

It was reported Monday that Tillerson will forgo attending the April 5 to 6 meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He will instead remain in the U.S. to join President Donald Trump and other cabinet officials during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Albright appeared before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday and criticized the decision.

"I think it's a most unfortunate signal," Albright said, reports The Hill. "I would blame it on schedulers. I do think that is part of the problem. He will have met with a lot of ministers in other venues, but given the discussion that's going on about NATO, I think it's an unfortunate scheduling problem."

The NATO meeting of foreign ministers would have been Tillerson's first such gathering since taking the helm at the Department of State in February.

Tillerson is also slated to travel to Russia later in April.

Trump called out NATO and its member nations several times both as a presidential candidate and after winning the election last fall, saying he'd like other countries to pay more money to be part of the organization. At the same time, Russia has flexed its military muscle in eastern Europe in recent years. Some eastern European countries who are part of NATO have had to intercept Russia fighter jets near their airspace.

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Madeleine Albright, a secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton, said Tuesday that she's disappointed America's current top diplomat Rex Tillerson will not attend a NATO meeting next month
madeleine albright, rex tillerson, nato meeting, skip, miss
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2017-27-21
Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 01:27 PM
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