By Laith al-Juneidi
AMMAN, Jordan (AA) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday demanded that Iran withdraw all its forces from Syria with a view to reducing regional tension.
Tillerson made the remarks at a joint press conference held with Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Amman.
Washington’s top diplomat also voiced concern over recent escalations between Iran and Israel in Syria, urging Tehran to withdraw all its forces from the latter.
Citing Iran's influence on Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, Tillerson said the U.S. supported a “free and independent” Lebanon in which all military forces remained under the control of the government.
Tillerson is scheduled to visit Beirut on Thursday where he plans to discuss democratization with Lebanese leaders.
The U.S. secretary of state also signed a memorandum of understanding with Safadi by which Washington will provide Jordan with $1.275 billion in annual aid over the next five years.
The aid will go towards promoting Jordanian King Abdullah II’s reform agenda and offsetting the negative effects of Jordan’s ongoing refugee crisis, caused mainly by the conflict in neighboring Syria.