Russia says some progress made on Syria after Tillerson Moscow talks

Janie Parker
April 17, 2017

Lavrov was meeting with his counterparts from Syria and Iran in a show of support for Damascus after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow earlier this week.

Foreign policy experts say the U.S. bombing of Syria was done in part to deflect attention from the president's growing list of problems at home, from the investigation of his campaign's alleged ties with Russian Federation to his failed healthcare legislation and blocked travel ban.

"That's a butcher. That's a butcher", Trump said of Assad. The Trump administration concluded that Assad was behind the act, and on Thursday ordered a cruise missile strike against a Syrian airbase as a "proportional response".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the two countries had agreed to work together on an global investigation into the attack that prompted retaliatory American missile strikes.

He said the Russian hope was that Putin's message would be passed on to U.S. President Donald Trump. "But we can start by working together to actually de-escalate the conflict", she said. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson said.

The United States has implicated the Assad government in crimes against humanity, including attacks on civilians with chemical weapons.

A fact-finding mission led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating the attack. Russian Federation says rebels were responsible for whatever chemical agent was used, which the Trump administration calls a disinformation campaign. Assad asked. "Who committed the attack if there was attack?"

Mr Lavrov admitted relations between the two nations "are not the most calm" and some issues were "time bombs" inherited from the Obama administration.

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Mr Lavrov said on Wednesday Russia had lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas coming from the US.

The two did outline some areas of agreement Wednesday.

"The United States firmly believes that a political process can work, despite the odds", said Haley.

Mr Johnson backed U.S. calls to find a political solution and said the G7 leaders were ready to work with Russian Federation to end the violence in Syria.

WATCH: Can Russia abandon Assad?

Lavrov repeated the Kremlin's condemnation of the United States missile strike in Syria and said Washington was seeking "excuses for regime change". Tillerson called for Assad to eventually relinquish power. "With the acts that [Assad] has taken, it would seem that there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people".

Slate looks at a couple reasons for why President Trump hasn't been almost as pro-Russia as candidate Trump, including the possibility that he's been prevented from following pro-Russia policies by political realities in Washington, or simply that he's changed his mind on Russian Federation. Lavrov, however, pointed to the downside of removing a foreign leader.

"It's one that we know is serious enough to attract additional sanctions".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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