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In First Meeting, Top EU, U.S. Diplomats Discuss Russia, Iran, Ukraine


European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini (file photo)

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke "at length" about terrorism, Russia, the Iran nuclear deal, and Ukraine in their first meeting, the EU said.

Mogherini visited Washington on February 9-10 for the first time since Donald Trump became president, meeting both with Tillerson and Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser.

Mogherini said she and Tillerson had an "open exchange on many dossiers," including "transatlantic relations, the common challenge of countering terrorism, the ongoing work to strengthen European defense, relations with Russia, the Iran nuclear deal, and the main crises, from Ukraine to Syria," she said.

No details of the discussions were available.

Mogherini helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump has described as "terrible."

Moreover, U.S.-Iran tensions have flared this month as Flynn put Iran "on notice" for test-firing a ballistic missile.

Trump has expressed openness to working more closely with Russia, a stance that has rattled European allies, while Tillerson had significant business ties with Russia when he was chief executive of ExxonMobil. But during his confirmation hearings, Tillerson called Russia a "bad actor."

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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