Syria's Bashar Assad: Chemical Weapons Attack Is '100 Percent Fabrication'
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 11:38
Lavrov doubled down on Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, repeating denials that Assad's government was to blame for the gas attack last week.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the circumstances surrounding the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people were still not clear. More than 100 were killed in the attack and around 500 others, majority children, were wounded.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a chemical-weapons attack in Syria that provoked US missile strikes on the Middle Eastern country may have been orchestrated.
The West has accused Assad's forces of carrying out the attack in Idlib province that shocked the world.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Assad also said his nation "gave up" its stockpile of chemical weapons, consistent with a 2013 agreement brokered by the Russian government after the Syrian military used chemical weapons in a suburb of the nation's capital, Damascus.
"In facing our common challenges, we must also ensure that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe", he said.
"But the only way to avoid a new Cold War, avoid the arms race, and avoid increasing tensions is to continue to engage Russian Federation in a political dialogue and to make sure that what we do is defensive and proportionate in response to a more assertive Russian Federation", he said.
"Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn't been affected by this strike".
He reiterated the U.S. position that Assad must eventually relinquish power in Syria. Lavrov said the deal would apply only if the United States and its allies targeted terrorists, not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
Relations between the United States and Russian Federation appear to have reached depths not seen since the end of the Cold War. But he's learned more quickly than the last two presidents - especially Barack Obama - that Mitt Romney got it exactly right in 2012: Russian Federation is America's major geopolitical foe.
Trump, standing alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, called on allies to "work together to resolve the disaster" in Syria and thanked them for condemning Assad. "I would like to think that they didn't know, but certainly they could have".
"We hope that the United States president will become aware of that analysis", he said on Thursday.
After the talks, Tillerson warned "there is a low level of trust between our two countries. The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", Tillerson said at a news conference.
Lavrov blasted U.S. claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.
Russian Federation yesterday vetoed a US-backed resolution at the United Nations demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of a suspected chemical attack.
It was the eighth time that Russian Federation has used its veto power to block action directed at Damascus.