Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

After attack on Syria, Tillerson vows to defend innocents

After attack on Syria, Tillerson vows to defend innocents

Prior to the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Tillerson said al-Assad's fate should be decided by the Syrian people, suggesting Washington would not oppose him standing for re-election.

US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow provided a chance to persuade Russian Federation to cut its support for the Syrian regime.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday praised President Trump's decision to launch missile strikes in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria, calling it "one of the president's finest hours".

A recent meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (習近平) was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, which will help reduce tension in trade between the two countries, Taiwanese experts said Saturday, urging Taiwan to be more active in handling trade relations with the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Italy's Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano arrive to attend a ceremony at the Sant'Anna di Stazzema memorial April 10 in Italy.

"I mean, we've got to do that for peace and stability in the area".

Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States made a "strategic mistake" by attacking Syria, state news agency IRNA reported. "I welcome this renewed harmony".

"In the past few years, they have had every opportunity to pull levers and stop this civil war", he wrote. Haley on Sunday a question about whether the White House's attack would result in such a war.

"Our priority is first the defeat of ISIS", Tillerson said.

The United States is fighting Islamic State group militants in Syria but had previously avoided striking government forces, largely out of concern about being pulled into a military conflict with Russian Federation. He called the Assad government a main force against terrorism and said it deserved the presumption of innocence in the chemical weapons attack.

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The spokesman, Martin Schaefer, said German viewed it as "a good and important sign".

The United States is "playing the terrorism game", Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday during his first phone talks with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson since the USA air strikes on Syria last week.

He said that instead he would work with the United States and other G-7 nations "to build coordinated global support for a cease-fire on the ground and an intensified political process".

The objective of USA policy, Haley said on NBC's Meet the Press, is "to defeat ISIS".

He said: "Lavrov and Zarif called for carrying out a thorough and unbiased investigation into the incident in the Syrian province of Idlib that has led to numerous deaths among the civilian population".

Washington has sent mixed signals about whether it shares its allies' determination that Assad must be removed from power.

Obama's deal relied on the Russians to carry out inspections and remove Assad's chemical weapons in 2013, before Russian troops and warplanes officially entered the conflict in October 2015. It was first U.S. intervention against Syria's government and pushed the country's six-year civil war to the top of the agenda for the G-7 meeting.

The officials, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive matter, said they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the earlier assault.

The Trump administration will continue its efforts to address its massive trade deficit, which involves many Asian countries, he said, urging Taiwan to stay on guard and come up with a strategy with which to respond.

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