Tillerson Says US and Russia Remain Divided on Syria

Joshua Roberts  Reuters

Using its veto power, Russian Federation not only blocked the United Nations from investigating a recent chemical attack in Syria, but it kept the U.N. from even condemning it.

Boris Johnson insisted on Wednesday night that he had not given up on a political solution to the Syrian civil war despite "dismay" at Russian Federation vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning last week's nerve gas attack.The Foreign Secretary said Russian Federation had put itself on "the wrong side of the argument" but it was not too late for Vladimir Putin to change his mind over his support for Bashar al-Assad's "barbaric" regime, writes The Telegraph.

Assad, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, denied that any chemical weapons attack took place. Tillerson is considering the request, he said, "and we expect that Washington will have a constructive reaction".

"Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists".

"Things will work out fine between the United States of America and Russian Federation".

Assad denied having chemical weapons and said Syria would only allow an "impartial" investigation into the incident.

The attack on Khan Sheikhoun is expected to be near the top of the agenda when the OPCW's executive committee meets Thursday at the organization's headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

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He insisted the option of sanctions remained on the table and said there would now be an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The tense back-and-forth over last week's deadly chemical attack in Syria has added to the strain. But that one would have condemned the USA missile strikes ordered by President Donald Trump in response to the chemical attack.

"There were no signs that would support the statement, the allegation that chemical agents were used there at all", Lavrov said.

Britain's Ambassador, Sir Geoffrey Adams, told the meeting that United Kingdom scientists have analyzed samples from Khan Shaykhun and they "tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance".

Earlier this week, Turkish doctors also said that test results conducted on victims confirmed that sarin gas was used. The organization has not revealed any details, citing the need to preserve the integrity of the probe and the safety of OPCW staff.

President Vladimir Putin's meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hasn't produced any positive shift yet in Russia-U.S. relations, the Kremlin said Thursday.

"The current state of U.S. Russian Relations is at a low point", Tillerson, who is in Moscow for meetings, said at a joint news conference Wednesday.

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