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Trump stumbles in Syrian attack

22 April 2017

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said an alleged poison gas attack blamed on his government last week in Idlib province was "100 percent fabrication" used to justify a USA air strike, news agency AFP reported on Thursday.

The talks got off to a frosty start, with the Russian politician branding the American cruise missile strike "illegal" and criticising "confusing and sometimes openly contradictory ideas" from the Trump administration on the US-Russia relationship and worldwide issues.

But in Washington, the US State Department said Tillerson did not eliminate the possibility the United States may undertake future strikes. The US strike was condemned by Russia, Syria's ally in its civil war, which said that the strike would worsen the relations between the countries.

On the alleged attack, and issues like Russian intervention in Ukraine and alleged interference in the U.S. election, the viewpoints of Moscow and Washington remained far apart.

"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", Putin said in an interview broadcast Wednesday by state television channel Mir.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied carrying out a chemical attack.

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Putin also asserted that Syria has complied with an agreement to dispose of chemical weapons "so far as we know".

Trump envoy Tillerson's talks with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have been haunted by the incident that saw the U.S. launch punitive strike against Assad's forces. Russian Federation is a key supporter of Assad's. "But certainly they could've".

During a joint press conference Wednesday, Tillerson said the two had a "lengthy exchange of views regarding the situation in Syria and shared perspectives on possible ways forward".

Putin and Trump are yet to meet face to face to discuss the tensions between Russian Federation and the US. I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing.

Not only did Lavrov categorically dispute this interpretation of events, saying Russian Federation was "not convinced" by the US' evidence that sarin gas was deliberately used, but called for an "honest investigation" into the attack that he suggested would reveal the U.S. and United Nations were bluffing if it did not come to pass.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday that "the exchange of information is taking place but we are not officially sating that the validity of this document has been renewed", according to the state news agency Tass.

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US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump offered an olive branch to Vladimir Putin, even as Washington and Moscow clashed over Russia's alleged US election interference and Syria's brutal conflict.

Trump had called the military alliance, which is a bulwark against Russian Federation, "obsolete" while campaigning for the presidency.

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding the Syrian regime cooperate with an investigation into a deadly chemical attack last week.

Speaking following the meetings, Mr Lavrov ruled out withdrawing his support for Syrian leader Assad, saying that "ousting a particular personality is not on our agenda".

In retaliation, the US bombed the Syrian air base used to launch the chemical weapons attack.

"The world's two primary nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship", he said.

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Trump stumbles in Syrian attack