April 20, 2017 / 6:20 PM / 4 months ago

Tillerson to meet with Southeast Asian foreign ministers in May

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson adjusts his headphones during a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017.Sergei Karpukhin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with the foreign ministers of Southeast Asian countries on May 4 in Washington ahead of planned regional summits in November, a State Department official said on Thursday.

The foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations requested the meeting with Tillerson in an effort to engage with the new U.S. administration, said Patrick Murphy, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for southeast Asia.

Tillerson and the ministers are likely to discuss trade, territorial claims in the South China Sea, trafficking, crime and other issues.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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