Rex Tillerson Makes "Secret" Visit To Afghanistan

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after Rex Tillerson's visit to Saudi Arabia, which came as part of the US Secretary of State's concerted efforts to curb Iran's rapidly expanding influence in the region, including boosting the clout of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia in Shiite-majority Iraq, and urging Iranian militias to leave Iraq as the "fighting against ISIS comes to an end", Tillerson made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan's capital Kabul, where he is in discussions with President Ashraf Ghani about the United States’ policy towards South Asia.

Rex Tillerson speaks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani before their meeting

"Cloaked in secrecy and under heavy security, Tillerson slipped out of the Qatari capital of Doha in the pre-dawn hours" and flew to Bagram Air Base, AP writes. The secret visit was the third stop on his Middle East and South Asia trip, which started in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and will finish in Pakistan and India.

“The Secretary stated that the new U.S. strategy for South Asia makes clear the United States’ commitment to working with the government of Afghanistan and with partners across the region to achieve peace in Afghanistan and deny safe havens to terrorists who threaten that goal,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in a statement. “President Ghani reiterated his support for the new U.S. strategy and emphasized his government’s commitment to reforms aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of all Afghans.”

“The U.S. has made it clear in terms of our support for Afghanistan, support a sovereign unified Afghanistan, a democratic Afghanistan, of charting a path to peace, prosperity and self-reliance,” Tillerson told the small group of reporters allowed to accompany him to Kabul. “It is imperative in the end that we are denying safe haven to any terrorist organizations or any extremists to any part of this world.”

“We also want to work with regional partners to ensure that there are no threats in the region,” he said. “This is very much a regional effort as you saw. It was rolled out in the strategy itself, demanding that others deny safe haven to terrorists anywhere in the region. We are working closely with Pakistan as well.”

“Clearly we have to continue to fight against the Taliban, against others, in order for them to understand they will never win a military victory,” he said. “And there are we believe moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever. They don’t want their children to fight forever. So we are looking to engage with those voices and have them engage in a reconciliation process leading to a peace process and their full involvement and participation in the government.”

Tillerson praised Ghani for his reform efforts, notably to curb corruption, and to prepare for parliamentary elections next year.

* * *

As we reported over the weekend, Tillerson was previously Saudi Arabia and Qatar during a multi-nation tour that also includes stops in Pakistan, India, and Switzerland. During Tillerson's Gulf visit, Tillerson also called on European governments to join a U.S.-led sanctions regime against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, saying that countries doing business with the Islamic Republic’s force do so at their own risk.  The Revolutionary Guards “foment instability in the region and create destruction in the region,” Tillerson told reporters in Riyadh on Sunday quoted by Bloomberg, after talks with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other top officials. European countries and companies that do business with the IRGC “really do so at great risk,” he said.

Tilleron's visit takes place just one week after President Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, leaving its fate to the US Congress, and laid out an aggressive new strategy against Tehran in a bellicose speech. As well as talks with senior Saudi officials in Riyadh including King Salman, Tillerson attended a landmark meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iraq aimed at upgrading strategic ties between the Arab neighbours.

"This event highlights the strength and breadth as well as the great potential of the relations between your countries," Tillerson said at the first meeting of the joint Saudi-Iraqi coordination council in Riyadh.

Following years of tensions with Riyadh, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi hailed the meeting as an "important step toward enhancing relations", while King Salman warned of the dangers of "extremism, terrorism, as well as attempts to destabilise our countries." As part of his Saudi visit, Tillerson is also seeking more money for reconstruction in Iraq, after U.S.-backed forces ousted Islamic State from its key strongholds in the country.

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InsaneBane's picture

Secret means discussing the Opium trade

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Ssssshh, it's such a huge secret nobody knows. Its in ZH, they have pictures and it's going to be in the news but it's a secret.

You have to laugh at the titles to grab people's attention

East Indian's picture

OPM = Other People's Money

Cash2Riches's picture

I can hear the left crying out in a million voices now, oh the corruption, oh the scandles, damn Drumpf. Yet, lets not worry about the proven corruption with the Russian by the Clintons and Obama.

small axe's picture

people like Tillerson sneak into the countries US policies have destroyed, like thieves in the night.


venturen's picture

pretty sure Afghanistan was destroyed long be for the US arrived

Storm-Clouds's picture is a bag of’s a secret.....

Kenny Drebson's picture

he brought more backpacks full of cash for karzai and his taliban generals to maintain the illusion of successful US foreign policy.

venturen's picture

1st stop should be pakistan the exporter of MUSLIMS TERRORISM

Able Ape's picture

ALL serious problems can be solved by flying in and flying out in the course of one day!  Why didn't I think of that!...And "We're curbing corruption" - translated means drop off MORE pallets of cash at the CURB, thank you!

spanish inquisition's picture

Tillerson- "I would like to convey that we truly will stick to this agreement"

Mena Arkansas's picture

Discussing this year's poppy harvest? Judging by the smiles must have been a banner year. Or perhaps they use the deaths of white teenagers as their main metric of success. Either way, business is yugggggggggge!

WTFUD's picture

Tillerson's warning off Saudi about closer Russia ties, telling them to stick with Vichy DC, that they have a cunning plan!

Meanwhile all around the M-E governments are seeing the writing on the wall for their former/current Masters and are ready to jump ship.

Idiot fuck Tillerson's chirping Sanctions/Iran. Does the fool even know that a fight with Iran is a fight to the death with Shiites ( Chiites ) in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, Yemem, and Europe and South America and North America? They're not fake Muslims like Vichy DC's vassals/stooges in the UAE.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Shoring up and urging on his military to hold the "Fort" before it becomes yet another "Tet"!... But this isn't Vietnam circa 1968 and oh... my... but we've got Uncle "Sammy's" fingers in way too many pies these days controlling less not more with money he don't have... And saddled with debt his father never could have imagined 49 years ago!

I'll say it again... THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT!!!

dogismycopilot's picture

So we spend $1 trillon plus dollars and the country still isn't secure enough to openly fly Administration level officers into it?

That sure as shit doesn't sound like winning to me.


johnjkiii's picture

If it was a secret, how'd you find out?

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Did they shower him with rockets (again)?

Mr. Class and Quality's picture

This all just warms the cockles of my heart.

Koba the Dread's picture

Have you consulted your cardiologist about this condition?

Falconsixone's picture

What's the tonnage of drugs, al-ciadah and 8yr. old's Rex (The Mule) Tillerson?

White Devil's picture

Perhaps he will bring us each some opium if we ask nicely.

Koba the Dread's picture

He ain't gon share his stash with noone.

Herdee's picture

Iranian backed militia's won't leave until the Americans and their ISIS proxy army are 100% kicked-out of Syria after destroying the country on behalf of their Zionist neighbour who only wants endless confusion and destruction of the surrounding countries.  That's the psycho/whacked out mentality of the orthodox. These fanatics are not any different than Wahhabis. Coo-Coo

Herdee's picture

The U.S. is worried sick that the Taliban is gaining territory.  Why?  It's because the Taliban destroy all the opium production.  The CIA needs the money from heroin.

redmudhooch's picture

“The U.S. has made it clear in terms of our support for Afghanistan, support a sovereign unified Afghanistan, a democratic Afghanistan, of charting a path to peace, prosperity and self-reliance,” 

I wish our "leaders" would apply this same idea to America!

Meet the new asshole, same as the old asshole.....

I'm still praying that at some point he proves me wrong, I'm waiting....

9/11 truth would do wonders for America right now. Remember the Taliban from day one, denied any involvment in 9/11.

RedDwarf's picture

NeoCons are getting desperate, they are trying to salvage what they can from the wreckage of their Middle East policy.

Youri Carma's picture

Maybe about an other route for U.S. opium drug trade?

Why Iran is a global hub for narcotics
Oct 23, 2017 Al Jazeera English

Afghanistan opium production up 43% - UN drugs watchdog

Afghanistan: Total area under opium poppy cultivation expanding, threatening sustainable development in the country