U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers questions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies October 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to the Middle East, South Asia and Europe this week on a diplomatic mission focused on conflicts in Iraq and Syria and blunting Iranian influence, the State Department said Thursday.In Riyadh, Tillerson will explore ways of improving relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq by participating in the first meeting of the two countries' new coordination council, it said. That effort, which U.S. officials say Tillerson has pushed for months, is aimed at reducing Iran's increasing influence in Iraq by encouraging Baghdad to align more closely with Riyadh.
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