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Rex Tillerson to attend NATO meeting following rescheduling

By Daniel Uria
Rex Tillerson to attend NATO meeting following rescheduling
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium on March 31 after the State Department initially said he would skip it due to conflicts with his scheduled trip to Russia. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend a NATO meeting at the end of March after it was planned he would skip it, officials said.

The State Department announced Tillerson will be present at the meeting on March 31 in Brussels after visiting Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.

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On Monday, State Department officials said Tillerson would not attend the meeting, which was originally scheduled for April 5 and 6, due to scheduling conflicts with a planned visit to Russia a week later.

NATO later said it was in contact with the State Department to discuss alternate dates for the meeting.

"We are currently planning to hold the meeting of NATO foreign ministers on 31 March," a NATO official said, according to CNN. "Consultations on scheduling among allies are ongoing."

The date of the meeting can only be changed following a consensus vote among all 28 member countries.

State Department acting spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday the department was "certainly appreciative of the effort to accommodate Secretary Tillerson."

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