Friday, 23 June, 2017

Tillerson says no reason for Russia to retaliate

Erik Tate | 09 April, 2017, 04:56

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has cancelled a scheduled visit to Moscow next week, his office announced on Saturday, saying "developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally".

The missile strike shows that the U.S.is "the most unpredictable" country, and Russian Federation "will ask questions" of Tillerson when he visits Moscow, Zakharova told state television.

At right, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks with the media after greeting Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

America's top diplomat also says that the top USA priority in the region hasn't changed and remains the defeat of Islamic State militants.

"(Russian President) Vladimir Putin believes that complete disregard for factual information about the use by terrorists of chemical weapons drastically aggravates the situation", the statement said.

USA officials said Russian Federation bears responsibility for backing Assad and extending the six-year-old conflict, raising tension between the former Cold War rivals to the highest level since President Donald Trump took office in January.

Lavrov also reaffirmed Russia's position that accusations that the Syrian regime had launched a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun last week "are not in line with reality".

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It said Lavrov and his US counterpart agreed to continue discussions on Syria in person.

Tillerson says the Islamic State group is a threat not just to the US but to stability in the region.

With Syria on the agenda when the Group of Seven's foreign ministers meet in Italy on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Johnson's preference to discuss Syria with his G-7 peers was an "absurd" reason to cancel and a sign of erratic policy.

"Those who have taken over US affairs once claimed they wanted to combat terrorism; however, today Syria's terrorists are happy about [the] USA invasion in Syria and are celebrating it", he said.

Following their conversation over the phone, the two officials agreed to continue the discussion of the Syrian issue during their planned face-to-face meeting, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

"The world is clearly witnessing who is the peace-breaker and destroyer through this military attack of United States to Syria", the statement said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

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