Top US diplomat meets Putin over Syria crisis
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 10:54
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held his first directs talks with Russia's president on Wednesday amid deepening tensions after US missile strikes in Syria and Washington's demands that Moscow abandon support for its main Middle East ally.
"I think the signal is as much a follow up to his meeting with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] as it is to his warning to Pyongyang", Ginsberg said of President Donald Trump, adding that this could mean the USA leader is not going to remain patient for long.
Tillerson said he had not seen hard evidence that Russian Federation knew ahead of time about the chemical weapons attack but he planned to urge Moscow to rethink its support for Assad in the April 12 talks. US officials in Washington have also raised that prospect.
But despite the growing rifts, some general compromises were discussed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Putin might agree to resume an information-sharing "deconfliction" network with the United States on the countries' warplane flights in Syria.
US President Donald Trump's stance on Syria has seen a "complete turnaround", embracing what could be a trilateral strategy to fight Daesh, weaken Bashar Assad and attempt a bargain with Russian Federation, an expert has said.
Lavrov, who is U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's counterpart, said Russian Federation was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.
Lavrov retorted: "This is obviously the subject where our views differ".
Last week's poison gas attack and the U.S. retaliation upended what many in Moscow hoped would be a transformation in relations between the two countries, which reached a post-Cold War low under Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
Tillerson said Tuesday that "It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov blasted United States claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference. "But if I see them using gas.we have to do something". "This is simply counterproductive", ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in remarks aired on the Internet news site TVDozhd. The two leaders were expected to discuss disagreement about whether Syrian President Bashar Assad or his opposition was responsible for a chemical weapons attack last week that led to US retaliatory cruise missiles.
He said Russian Federation has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas coming from Washington. Those include getting rid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's remaining chemical weapons stocks and pressing Assad to negotiate Syria's future.
Confirmation of the cause of the deaths came as Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a United Nations investigation of the chemical weapons attack.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll announced Wednesday found that revealed that voters support the initial US airstrikes in Syria ordered last week by President Donald Trump - but there is less backing for an escalation of hostilities that includes ground forces.
"We must have a dialogue with Russian Federation", he said. "It's very bad for this world".
A US aircraft carrier-led strike group has been deployed to the Korean Peninsula waters, which Ginsberg said is not just a warning to North Korea but also to China.
The missiles targeted the air base's airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, USA officials have said.
He said: "It can be said that the level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded".
Though President Donald Trump has spoken with Putin by phone, the meeting was believed to be the first between Putin and a top member of Trump's administration since the new American president took office in January.
In a briefing from Baghdad, Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the US -led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said there have been no threatening moves against American troops in Syria by either Russian or Syrian forces since the strike, Martin reports. The poll also showed that 63 percent of Americans believe we should be doing more in Syria, 70 percent of Americans support imposing tighter sanctions on Syria in the global community and only 39 percent of voters support putting troops on the ground to remove Assad. Turkey has said tests showed sarin gas was used.
Tillerson has said Russian Federation must end its support for Assad, while the USA envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has said Assad should have no future in Syria.