Assad completely denies any involvement in Syrian gas attack

Phillip Butler
April 17, 2017

During a hostile visit to Moscow, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said US-Russia ties had reached a "low point" - despite a lengthy meeting with Mr Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations resolution that would have required Bashar al-Assad's government to co-operate with worldwide inquiries into last week's chemical attack in Syria.

The Syrian strongman said he couldn't have unleashed a poison gas strike on innocent civilians because the country has gotten rid of its chemical weapons arsenal.

The United States and Russian Federation on Wednesday both presented souring views of the relationship between their two countries, exchanging sharp words as Moscow extended an icy welcome to the United States' top diplomat in a face-off over Syria.

Last week's attack prompted Washington to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base. "I do not know who saw them".

Trump had frequently called during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign for warmer ties with Putin, despite criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party. "That could happen, and it may not happen, It may be just the opposite", Trump said. Perhaps eager to take a shot at the previous US administration, with whom Putin's government clashed badly, Lavrov said the new group would address "irritants which have dogged our relations over the last couple of years, particularly under the administration of President Obama".

The palpable tension hanging over Tillerson's trip spoke to a widening chasm between the former Cold War foes.

He said he and Tillerson also had a two-hour meeting and added the discussions showed good prospects for future joint work. The US strike was condemned by Russia, Syria's ally in its civil war, which said that the strike would worsen the relations between the countries. "I think he had a very successful meeting in Russia", Trump said.

He said Russian Federation hopes the United States can give constructive response to this suggestion.

The meeting comes as early expectations of an easy rapport between the Trump administration and Russian Federation are crashing into reality.

A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating last week's attack in a rebel-held area of northern Syria.

"It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russia", Trump said.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article