Russia vetoes UN resolution to condemn Syria chemical attack

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"There was no order to make any attack, we don t have any chemical weapons, we gave up our arsenal a few years ago", Assad said.

"Right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all", Mr Trump said flatly during a White House news conference with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the USA position that Assad should leave power.

After Tillerson spent three hours talking with Lavrov and nearly two hours at the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov, sitting three feet from Tillerson, aired a long list of grievances with the United States, some dating back many years.

Putin also said that confidence in an improvement in U.S. Moscow officials also said the USA attack led them to consider scrapping a "deconfliction" communication agreement with the United States that provided logistical military coordination in Syria.

In an interview broadcast Wednesday, Trump sharply dialed up the rhetoric on Syria, calling Assad "an animal" whose regime was saved by Russian intervention. But Tillerson repeated the administration's new belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".

Tillerson said Syria's government had committed more than 50 attacks using chlorine or other chemical weapons over the duration of the conflict. And he suggested that possible war crimes charges could be levied against the Syrian leader. The Russians held to a tentative schedule that was worked out in advance, USA officials said. White House officials said in advance of Wednesday's meeting that the administration still wants other nations to spend more on defense. We maintain communications with the Russian military and with the diplomatic channels. Putin had even granted Tillerson with a friendship honor.

Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that "if it is decided" that the Russian president needs to be briefed on the outcome of the Tillerson-Lavrov talks, he will meet them.

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"We discussed our view that Russian Federation, as their closest ally in the conflict, perhaps has the best means of helping Assad recognize this reality", Tillerson said.

But if this was the chance to find common ground before the Trump administration attempts any new action on Syria, it has ended in failure.

Trump said the USA is "not getting along with Russian Federation at all" and relations between the two global powers are at an "all-time low". "We're going to see how that all works out".

"We did discuss at length the future role for Assad, whether it be in a future political process or not", Tillerson said. On Thursday Trump expressed confidence that US-Russia ties would improve. But any such expectations have been dashed amid the war in Syria and ongoing U.S. investigations into Russia's alleged interference in America's United States presidential election.

The war also led to the emergence of the Islamic State jihadist group, which seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014 but has since lost much of the territory it once controlled.

Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network this week that "Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person" in his relationship with Assad.

Though Tillerson is working to persuade Moscow to drop support for Assad - warning during a G7 meeting earlier this week in Italy that Russian Federation risks becoming irrelevant in the Middle East for it - Lavrov told the State Department chief that he wants to know Trump's real intentions. "We have said that there need to be a very thorough investigation into this incident, which has become the subject of many speculations", Lavrov said.

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