Trump forgets Cold War, says US-Russia relations at 'all time low'

Lavrov was meeting with his counterparts from Syria and Iran in a show of support for Damascus after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow earlier this week.

"Speaking alongside Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at a Moscow press conference, Lavrov questioned the U.S.'s conclusion that Syrian President Bashar Assad was behind the chemical attack that killed more than 80 Syrians last week". Lavrov said the deal would apply only if the USA and its allies targeted terrorists, not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Lavrov, addressing a news conference, said that Moscow is ready to restore an air safety agreement covering Syria which it had suspended after last week's U.S. missile strikes on Syria.

Lavrov also said Moscow was ready to revive an air safety agreement in Syria.

Global chemical weapons investigators have gone to Turkey to collect samples as part of an inquiry into an alleged chemical weapons attack in neighbouring Syria last week that killed 87 people.

The OPCW's executive council met Thursday to discuss the attack on Khan Sheikhoun, in the northern rebel-held province of Idlib.

United States officials have suggested Russian forces may have colluded in the latest atrocity blamed on Assad's regime, and it remained unclear if Tillerson will be invited to meet Putin.

Trump had frequently called during the 2016 USA presidential election campaign for warmer ties with Putin, despite criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party.

After a campaign marked by friendly comments about Russia, President Donald Trump sounded a different note on Wednesday about the current state of U.S. -Russia affairs.

Another senior U.S. official told the AP on condition of anonymity earlier this week that initial United States investigations have concluded that Russian Federation was aware in advance of the suspected chemical strike. "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have", Trump said.

"We can not and will not support attempts to pass without proof a UN Security Council resolution condemning the government "on the quiet", without any inspections", the foreign minister said.

Guest host Nicolle Wallace pressed Earnest claiming, "You can't, you're saying that we wouldn't have gained anything in terms of our credibility in the world by saying something and then doing what we said we would do?"

A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating the attack.

The UN motion also would have forced the Syrian Assad government to cooperate in an global investigation into the incident. "And we suspect that they have help", a U.S. military official told reporters at a background briefing Friday.

The two sides also agreed to disagree about Ukraine, where Moscow backs rebel forces.

  • Leroy Wright