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Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Russia-Syria Ties to Dominate G7 Meeting of Foreign Ministers

Russia-Syria Ties to Dominate G7 Meeting of Foreign Ministers

"I hope that Russian Federation is thinking carefully about its continued alliance with Bashar al-Assad because every time one of this horrific attack occurs, it draws Russian Federation closer in to some level of responsibility", Tillerson said in a TV interview.

The U.S. strike, in response to an April 4 chemical attack that killed dozens of Syrian civilians, including many children, was Washington's first intervention against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and pushed the country's six-year civil war to the top of the agenda for the G-7 meeting.

Just 12 percent of Republicans said there should be no further military action and just diplomatic talks, while 37 percent supported more airstrikes but no troops, and 34 percent backed a full USA ground war in Syria. He was by Trump's side during his meetings with Xi and spoke publicly multiple times to address both issues.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Syria's "sponsors", Russian Federation and Iran, were enabling President Bashar al-Assad's "campaign of mass murder against his own civilians".

In an interview Sunday with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Sen.

The Sunday Times newspaper in the U.K.is reporting on April 10 that Britain will push for new sanctions on Russian Federation if it refuses to cut ties to Assad.

The United States stepped up pressure Sunday on Russian Federation to rein in the Syrian regime, warning that any further chemical attacks would be "very damaging" to their relationship and suggesting there can be no peace while President Bashar al-Assad remains in power.

McMaster said US goals of both destroying the Islamic State and ousting Assad were "simultaneous".

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations met Monday to forge a response to the deadly chemical attack in Syria, and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said they would consider imposing sanctions against Russian backers of President Bashar Assad.

The criticism from the foreign policy establishment's left and right that has dogged Tillerson's tenure is dying down.

US-backed rebels groups have long pleaded for more USA intervention and complained that Washington has only fought the Islamic State group. "Putin is not going to want to be seen as chummy with the US secretary of state".

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You praised President Trump's strike this week as a first step in a longer strategy. Instead, he was thrust to the forefront after photos of the bodies piled in heaps in Idlib, Syria, dramatically altered the agenda. A host of issues are responsible, topped by suspected Russian attempts to interfere in the US presidential election and Moscow's support for separatists in Ukraine that have prompted USA and European sanctions.

Over the weekend, Alfano said that Europe's broad support for the USA military strikes had contributed to a "renewed harmony" between the United States and its partners as the G-7 foreign ministers prepared to meet for the first time since Donald Trump took office in January.

The UK Foreign Office said Johnson's meeting was called off due to "Russia's continued defence of the Assad regime".

After the cruise missiles crashed down in Syria, Tillerson was calm and commanding in a question-and-answer session with journalists. Tillerson said Sunday that they function as a warning to any country acting outside of worldwide norms, in an apparent reference to North Korea.

"I think the president has been quite clear".

The challenge will be greater in Russia's capital this week.

The U.S. government said the attack on the air base came in retaliation for the strikes by the Syrian air force on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday. He said trust was gone and that relations were "completely ruined" by an action that put them "on the verge of a military clash". "And I think he's making a serious mistake".

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