The biggest wedge in the relationship is Russia’s continued support for Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad.
“I view the USA missile strike as an aggression, as it took place without an approval from the United Nations and without any investigation on behalf of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which could have identified those responsible behind the use of chemical weapons”, Muallem said.
“We know they have the expertise”.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday called the recent U.S. missile attack against Syria unacceptable, media reports said. “We are 100% sure that if our colleagues at the United Nations, as well as The Hague, try to avoid this investigation, this will signify that they are reluctant to find out the truth, but we will insist that the truth will be found”. According to Putin, the fighters from these states pose a real threat to Russia’s security.
Russian Federation presented a separate draft text condemning the United States military strikes in Syria and requesting an OPCW investigation, but it was uncleaer whether that measure would come up for a vote.
It was the latest sharp split between the U.S. and Russian Federation over the incident, which has deepened antagonism between the two countries in the wake of the attack.
“It’s fabrication. We don’t have an arsenal, we’re not going to use it”.
Tillerson said Syria’s government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict. But he stressed that dialogue needed to continue with Russian Federation. “We don’t want a new arms race”.
It was the first meeting for Trump and Stoltenberg since Trump’s election. “I said it [Nato] was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete”.
But it appears Mr Putin convinced Mr Tillerson that Moscow could force President Assad to relinquish power.
Still, Mr. Tillerson sought to stress the positives from his meetings.
On Thursday, April 6, President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian government airbase.
Tillerson said the USA has conclusive evidence that the Syrian government planned and executed the chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that left at least 89 people dead.
Boris Johnson has urged Russian Federation to stop “acting as a lifeline for Assad’s murderous regime” in Syria and instead to “live up to its responsibilities as a global power”.
In Russia’s view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said.
Trump said Tillerson had completed a successful meeting with Putin, where “things went pretty well”. “The world’s two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship”.
In a positive development, Russian Federation agreed to consider reopening lines of communication over movements across Syrian airspace, an arrangement that had been cancelled by Moscow in retaliation for last week’s missile air strikes by the USA in Syrian air space. He said the two sides would also discuss disagreements on Syria and how to end the country’s six-year civil war. “Right now just words, not facts”, said Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister.