Report: US Diplomats Instructed To Sidestep Questions On Paris Accord

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pauses while speaking to State Department employees, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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August 8, 2017 6:22 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a cable telling diplomats to give vague answers to questions about what it would take to convince President Donald Trump’s administration to re-enter the Paris Agreement on climate change, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Reuters reported, citing a diplomatic cable Tillerson sent to embassies on Friday, that U.S. diplomats were told to answer questions like “What is the process for consideration of re-engagement in the Paris Agreement?” with “We are considering a number of factors. I do not have any information to share on the nature or timing of the process.”

According to text Reuters published purportedly of the cable, Trump’s administration “is considering options for potential re-engagement in the Paris Agreement under different terms” but presently has “no plans to do so.”

“The Department recognizes that questions about the Paris Agreement and other climate policy issues will continue to arise,” the text reads.

Guidance in the text advised diplomats to answer questions about any renegotiation of the agreement with, “At this time, there are no plans to seek to renegotiate or amend the text of the Paris Agreement, or begin negotiations toward a new agreement.”

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