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Mar 24, 6:10 PM EDT

Tillerson to attend NATO summit he originally was to skip



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend a major NATO foreign ministers meeting after all.

Tillerson had alarmed allies when word emerged he was skipping the semiannual meeting in Brussels, but did plan to visit Russia in May. The State Department had said Tillerson had a scheduling conflict and had proposed alternative dates to the 28-member bloc for their meeting. NATO's chief had said the alliance was working to accommodate Tillerson's schedule.

The State Department now says Tillerson will travel to NATO in Brussels next Friday. The brief stop will come after Tillerson travels to Ankara, Turkey, to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. That meeting comes as the U.S. and Turkey are sharply divided about how to fight the Islamic State group in northern Syria.

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