Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Trump says would be 'wonderful' if US, Russia could get along

The vote came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow to discuss the escalating tensions in Syria.

That candid assessment by America's top diplomat reflected the former Cold War foes' inability to forge greater cooperation, as President Donald Trump until recently has advocated.

Tillerson also told Lavrov that better relations with the US require Russian Federation stop its support for Assad.

Despite Mr Putin's comments, the two nations have been striving to salvage ties, agreeing to work together on an global investigation of a Syrian gas attack last week that prompted retaliatory American missile strikes.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a "fabrication" to justify a U.S. strike on his forces, in an exclusive interview with AFP in Damascus. Russian Federation has seen the same pictures that we all saw just days ago in this chamber. It is one serious enough to attract additional sanctions.

But RC Hammond, a senior Tillerson aide, said flatly: "No agreements were reached".

The document drafted by the United Kingdom, France and the United States demanded the Syrian military to provide UN investigators with unfettered access to details of their operations on the day of the alleged attack. I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing.

Lavrov however said that the two sides still "diverge" over their evaluation of the alleged chemical attack, which Washington has blamed squarely on Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The men know each other well from Tillerson's days as Exxon Mobil CEO.

Russian Federation has slammed Washington's attack on a Syrian airbase and, as Mr Tillerson met Mr Lavrov, Putin admitted that relations between Washington and Moscow have worsened in the three months that Trump has been in office. "He hasn't threatened us at all", Lavrov responded.

"We insist on an objective investigation of what happened on April 4th", he said.

"It reminds me of the events in 2003 when USA envoys to the Security Council were demonstrating what they said were chemical weapons found in Iraq", Putin said.

Secretary Tillerson comments on the importance of cyber security discussions with #Russia.

"So Russia faces a choice: it can continue acting as a lifeline for Assad's murderous regime, or it could live up to its responsibilities as a global power, and use its influence over the regime to bring six long years of failed ceasefires and false dawns to an end".

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