U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson to attend rescheduled NATO meeting

| Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:04 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 26 (ANI): The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has rescheduled its upcoming foreign-ministers meeting to accommodate Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after he expressed his inability to attend on the original April 5 date, as reported by The Washington Post. A NATO official on Friday said that "consultations on scheduling" were "ongoing" among the alliance's 27 other members for that date, but an announcement was expected on Monday. It was reported earlier in the week that Tillerson had decided to skip the bi-yearly gathering of ministers, what would be his first formal meeting with NATO allies. The news had brought criticism from lawmakers and foreign policy experts who saw it as unwise from a security standpoint and as a sign of disrespect for the United States' closest allies. The State Department has said the Secretary would stop in Brussels on March 31, a day after he meets with Turkish leaders in Ankara. He also plans to travel to Moscow in mid-April. Earlier too, Tillerson has been criticised and depicted as irrelevant for failing to attend Trump's meetings with visiting foreign leaders. The administration has been under the scanner due to President Donald Trump's stated desire to improve relations with Russia and his declaration of NATO as "obsolete" during his campaign. (ANI)