Representatives of G7 met in Italy last wek to discuss the ways they can put pressure on Kremlin for it to break ties with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
The missile strike retaliation of the US for an alleged poison gas attack on civilians by Assad’s forces raised expectations that the US President Donald Trump is now ready to have a tougher stance on Russia.
British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, told reporters that the reputation of Russia has already been tarnished because of their continued support for the Syrian President. Johnson suggested that the sanctions on Moscow should be tightened if Russia continues to back Assad.
As of now, it’s still unclear as to how prepared Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to push on Vladimir Putin. When he arrives in Moscow once the G7 gathering in Lucca ends, there’s no telling what his political agenda may entail.
After meeting Tillerson, Johnson said that the G7 representatives’ aim with the gathering was to give Tillerson a clear mandate to Vladimir Putin where it will be his choice if he will stick to Assad or work with G7 in search for a better solution.
As for Russia, they rejected accusations that the Syrian President was the one who directed the use of chemical arms against the Syrian people. Russia also said that it has no plans to cut off ties with Assad. Assad is still locked in a 6-year-old civil war which has devastated the entire country of Syria.
Spokesman of Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said on Monday that returning to improvised attempts in order to resolve a crisis will not help in sorting things out. “Repeating mantras that the Syrian President must step down won’t do much,” said Peskov.
At the weekend, Tillerson himself said that the United States’ main priority is to defeat one of the main foes of Assad.
The comment that Tillerson made left the allies of the US wondering whether the missile attack on April 7 was a one-time event.
Tillerson visited a World War II massacre site in Italy. He said that the US “Won’t allow such abuses to go unchallenged.”
“We will hold into account all those who will commit and who have committed crimes against innocent people,” Tillerson said in an interview.
In order to build a stronger case against Assad, the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, and United Arab Emirates were invited to Italy to sit down and discuss Syria. Every single official opposed Assad’s rule.
The discussions of the foreign ministers will pave the way for the leaders’ summit of the G7 in Sicily on the last week of May. The summit is set to be Pres. Donald Trump’s first overseas trip as the President of the United States.
Besides Syria, G7 foreign ministers will be talking about the tensions with Pyongyang. The United States recently moved a strike group close to the Korean peninsula despite concerns over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Also, a debate regarding the situation with Libya will take place.