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On first day Tillerson called to Mexico, Canada and Israel

On first day Tillerson called to Mexico, Canada and IsraelU.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for unity and understanding on his first day at the State Department amid internal dissent over policies of President Donald Trump, Reuters reported on Friday.

Within hours of starting the job, Tillerson reached out by phone to counterparts from Mexico and Canada, spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and met with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, department officials said.

Tillerson was sworn in on Wednesday after the Senate confirmed him to his post despite concerns about his ties with Russia.

While addressing the department, Tillerson signaled he would impose changes to improve the functioning of the department and said the security of diplomats was a priority.

There was no readout after his meeting with Gabriel at the State Department, although discussions were likely focused on the NATO alliance, the future of the Iran nuclear agreement and trade.

His separate phone calls with foreign ministers from Canada and Mexico coincided with Trump saying on Thursday he wanted early talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he wants to renegotiate or repeal.

Tillerson also spoke by phone with Netanyahu, the State Department said in a statement. It did not say whether they discussed a White House statement that said Israeli settlements in occupied territories may not be helpful in achieving peace with Palestinians, adopting a more measured tone than its previous pro-Israel announcements.

"In all of his conversations, Secretary Tillerson stressed America's steadfast commitment to its key allies and partners as it works to protect the interests and safety of the American people," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
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