Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Russia-Syria Ties to Dominate G7 Meeting of Foreign Ministers

Russia-Syria Ties to Dominate G7 Meeting of Foreign Ministers

Once the threat from Islamic State has been reduced or eliminated, "I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilizing the situation in Syria", Tillerson said in excerpts from an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation", that will air in full on Sunday.

My priority is now to continue contact with the U.S. and others in the run up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April - to build coordinated worldwide support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process.

"We don't see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there", she said.

Earlier Sunday morning, Nikki Haley - the USA ambassador to the United Nations - told CNN's State of the Union that "getting Assad out" of power was a "priority".

Pressed by Fox host Chris Wallace pointed explain Tillerson's statements that destroying Isis is the U.S. priority, McMaster responded: "That's exactly what we're saying".

He said Russian Federation should also be asked how it didn't know that Syria was planning a chemical attack since it had advisers at the Syrian airfield.

"I don't draw conclusions of complicity at all, but clearly they've been incompetent and perhaps they've just simply been out-maneuvered by the Syrians", he told ABC's "This Week".

The Prime Minister of Russian Federation condemned the U.S. for attacking the legitimate government of Syria.

Before the Khan Sheikhun attack, Tillerson said Assad's fate should be decided by the Syrian people, suggesting Washington would not oppose him standing for reelection.

Two days earlier, Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the airbase from US Navy ships based in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Zarif calls United States bombing of Syria unacceptable
However, he added that he believes Moscow and Washington have "great potential" to improve their relationship. Russia's proposal on the investigation of Idlib chemical attack is being met with resistance, Lavrov said.

"We are prepared to do more", he said.

Syria agreed to remove its chemical weapons stockpile in 2013 when the U.S. threatened military action after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin chemical attack on a Damascus suburb.

Five days before the Khan Sheikhoun attack, Haley had indicated the United States had ditched the Obama administration's policy of removing Assad.

But the regime has denied any responsibility, saying its air strikes hit a rebel depot containing chemical materials.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley [profile] told CNN in an interview set to air Sunday that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [Al Jazeera profile] from power in Syria is one of the top priorities of Donald Trump's administration.

Sen. John McCain on Sunday lobbed part of the blame for Syria having used chemical weapons against its own citizens at President Trump and his administration.

"Such tough statements have been made for some time, and, in general, they did not contribute to the elaboration of a constructive bilateral agenda", Godovanyuk said".

Cavusoglu also said Ankara has been on a "different page" with Moscow on Assad since the beginning, adding that Turkey "would have given up its principles if it cares what other countries think when there's a chemical attack and a crime against humanity".

And British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has accused Moscow of being responsible "in proxy" for the civilian deaths in the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

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