Syria, Russia to top agenda as G7 ministers meet

14 April, 2017, 10:45 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • British Foreign Secretary Johnson answers a question during a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias following their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Athens

McCain referred to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson comments in March that "the longer-term status" of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be decided by the Syrian people, McCain said, "I think it probably was partially to blame".

"Why have you attacked the Syrian army which is at war with terrorists?"

Britain to demand "very punitive sanctions" on Russian Federation at a G7 foreign ministers meeting.

The two leaders also called for an "objective, unbiased investigation" into the incident involving chemical weapons which killed more than 100 people last week in Idlib province, Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.

The site was targeted because USA intelligence indicated Syrian military forces operating from the airfield were responsible for the attack in southern Idlib Province on Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly criticised Russian Federation on Sunday.

However, she had said last week that Mr Assad's removal was no longer a USA priority.

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The statement did not include critical details like what kind of military operation would cross such a red line, or what kind of response would be made on the part of Syria and its allies, but noted that they would work to "liberate" Syria from occupation.

In the aftermath of the United States strike on the Shayrat airbase in western Syria, Russia pledged to help strengthen Syria's air defenses.

A USA military official told CNN the Pentagon was examining specifically whether a Russian warplane had bombed a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun five hours after the initial chemical attack, with the aim of destroying evidence. "And saying, 'we are only going after chemical weapons areas, ' ignores the enormity of the problem", he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "must not be pushed into a corner", said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday.

Trump said he ordered the airstrike on the Shayrat base because the U.S. believed aircraft that carried out the chemical attack were launched from there.

Washington's retaliation was slammed by Iran and North Korea and put it on a direct diplomatic collision course with Moscow, where Tillerson heads on Tuesday for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

He said on Twitter that the "conditions for negotiations in Moscow were even worse than (former Secretary of State John) Kerry's times". "The world is waiting for Russian Federation to reconsider its misplaced alliance with Bashar al-Assad", she said.


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