Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

'No consensus among G7 foreign ministers on fresh Syria sanctions'

'No consensus among G7 foreign ministers on fresh Syria sanctions'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took a hard line against Russian Federation ahead of his first diplomatic trip to Moscow, calling the country "incompetent" for allowing Syria to hold on to chemical weapons, and accusing Russian Federation of trying to influence elections in Europe using the same methods it employed in the United States.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in the East Room of the White House on 27 January 2017 in Washington, DC.

Putin has angrily rejected the accusations against Damascus and slammed the U.S. bombing as "a violation of worldwide law".

Putin said Russian Federation and Syria were being portrayed as a "common enemy" in a bid to bring together the United States and its Western allies after many leaders criticised Trump ahead of his election.

Ahead of the talks, No 10 said it would look at what "further pressure" could be brought on the Russian government, which is believed to include the possibility of fresh economic and diplomatic sanctions.

G7 foreign ministers have failed to agree on whether fresh sanctions should be imposed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his ally Russia, Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday.

The official said that there might be a three-way meeting later this week in Moscow between officials from Russia, Syria and Iran.

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"Russia's allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the (Syrian) regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents", said an official.

G7 foreign ministers were on Monday to send a "clear and coordinated message" to Russian Federation on Syria as Washington upped the pressure following a suspected chemical attack in the wartorn country.

The US fired 59 cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airbase last Thursday, following the suspected chemical attack a day before.

The ministry gave this assessment in a statement released hours before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was scheduled to visit Moscow on Tuesday for talks on the ongoing Syrian conflict. But he says that distinction "doesn't much matter to the dead".

Ending a G-7 foreign ministers meeting, he says "we must have a dialogue with Russian Federation".

Tillerson says the USA sees no future role for Assad in Syria, but he says the US isn't pre-supposing how Assad's departure will occur.

Senior Russian military officers involved in co-ordinating Syrian president Bashar Assad's ruthless campaign of repression against his own people could face global sanctions, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has warned.

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