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Sec. of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Sait Serkan Gurbuz / AP

In a New York Times op-ed published in Thursday's paper, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touted the U.S. foreign policy initiatives he spearheaded during this first year. He pointed to the new caps on trade the U.N. and allies imposed on North Korea, the rebuilding of diplomatic ties in the Middle East and the country supporting the Ukrainian government amid aggression from pro-Russian separatists.

Why it matters: The country's top diplomat had a very bumpy year.

He and President Trump had clashed on a range of issues including the Iran nuclear deal, Qatar and North Korea. At one point, Trump tweeted: "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man... Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!""

Their disagreements often fueled speculations that Tillerson's time maybe winding down.

Key points from his op-ed:

  • Russia: "We have no illusions about the regime we are dealing with," Tillerson wrote, adding that U.S. "today has a poor relationship with a resurgent Russia that has invaded its neighbors Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade and undermined" last year's election. At the same time, he said the country is "on guard against Russian aggression" and that the U.S. recognized the need to work with Russia on issues like Syria, "where mutual interests intersect."
  • North Korea: He tooted efforts made by U.S. allies and the U.N Security Council to impose trade sanctions against North Korea and severing diplomatic ties in hopes of having the isolated country abates its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
  • China: Tillerson urged China to add more pressure North Korea and that the U.S. will continue to pressure leaders in Beijing on trade imbalances, intellectual property theft and "troubling military activities in the South China Sea."
  • Terrorism: He called on Pakistan to contribute more by combating terrorist groups on its own soil.
  • Iran deal: It's "no longer the focal point of our policy toward Iran. Instead, the U.S. is "confronting the totality of Iranian threats" through rebuilding alliances and diplomatic ties in the Middle East, addressing flaws in the nuclear deal and punishing Iran for violating ballistic missile commitments, he added.

Go deeper: Read the op-ed here... How Rex Tillerson alienated every ally he needs

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
4 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”