Lavrov and Tillerson to not meet in Ethiopia

Lavrov and Tillerson to not meet in Ethiopia

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have had no meeting in Ethiopia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

The minister added that such a meeting is no longer expected there. 

"There has been no meeting, and it will not be held. We’ll be waiting for another chance," TASS cited Ryabkov as saying.

Despite the coincidence of high-profile envoys staying in the same hotel on separate African tours on the same night, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that Russia hadn’t asked for a meeting between the two. That prompted a response from Lavrov, who insisted during a stop in Zimbabwe that Moscow did in fact want to meet.

“I want to say that this is untrue,” Lavrov stressed.

Asked about the meeting that wasn’t happening, Tillerson said the notion that the US had rejected diplomatic engagement “is really silly - that’s just silly.” He said he learned of Lavrov’s desire to meet only as he was flying to Africa on Tuesday night.

Repeating that “we never received a formal invitation” from Lavrov, Nauert said, “Just because because the two of them happen to be in the same country at the same time doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to carve out time.”

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