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Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Business | By Patricia Jimenez

Trump, Putin trade barbs on Syria war as ministers meet

Trump, Putin trade barbs on Syria war as ministers meet

The meetings come on the heels of a USA missile strike on an air base in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack on civilians that's been blamed on the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson said the "reign of the Assad family is coming to an end" but also acknowledged US-Russia relations were marked by a "low point" of trust.

Russia's veto of a United Nations resolution condemning a deadly chemical attack in Syria and pushing Bashar Assad's regime to co-operate with an worldwide inquiry put the country on the "wrong side" of the argument, the Foreign Secretary said.

China, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained from the vote, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in saying no.

Earnest insisted that if the United States conducted a unilateral strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, "Syria would still have a declared chemical weapons stockpile". Trump added that he discussed with Stoltenberg additional steps to improve the bloc's fight against terrorism in Syria and around the world.

The OPCW has blamed Assad's government for at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015 involving the use of chlorine.

"It'd be a fantastic thing if we got along with Putin and if we got along with Russia", Trump said.

The United States is disputing that it has agreed with Russian Federation on the need for a United Nations investigation into a chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Trump headed to Mar-a-Lago for Easter weekend
Even as the situation in Syria grows more precarious, Trump has also worked to quell conflicts in other regions of the world. Who's gonna leave? I mean, who's gonna leave?' Mr Trump argued he should have been conferring with lawmakers instead.

Mr Tillerson was greeted frostily in the Russian capital as Mr Lavrov began their meeting on Wednesday by demanding to know America's "real intentions".

"That's a butcher. That's a butcher", Trump said of Assad.

But Mr Lavrov said Moscow and Washington have agreed to continue cooperating to try to find a political solution for Syria.

Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member. Speaking on Russian state television, Putin said "the level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded".

"It's very important that there is a full investigation so that everybody knows, everybody knows, so that the entire world knows how these disgusting chemical attacks occurred and where they come from", said Delattre.

Senior national security officials briefed reporters Tuesday on declassified intelligence regarding the chemical attack, saying the symptoms of the victims was consistent with exposure to the nerve agent sarin.

"Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person".

Meanwhile Putin, who had an infamously icy relationship with President Barack Obama, said in an interview that U.S. - Russian relations have actually gotten worse since Trump took office.

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