Tillerson travels to Iraq, hours after visiting Afghanistan

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on an unannounced trip to Iraq just hours after returning from a similar surprise visit to Afghanistan.

Tillerson arrived in Baghdad Monday evening for talks with senior officials about Iran, a newly invigorated Kurdish independence movement and efforts to rebuild after the defeat of the Islamic State group in major towns and cities.

Tillerson flew into Iraq from Qatar. Earlier in the day, he visited Afghanistan. Neither trip was announced publicly.

Tillerson has been making the Trump administration's case for an Arab alliance to blunt Iran's activity in the Middle East. He attended the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Council on Sunday and urged the two longtime rivals to set aside past differences.

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Lee reported from Doha, Qatar.