'I'd like to think' Russian Federation didn't know about Syrian chemical attack

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The feuding also played out at the United Nations, where Russian Federation was expected to veto a Security Council resolution to bolster calls for worldwide inquiries into the chemical attack.

"Things will work out fine between the United States of America and Russia", Trump nevertheless tweeted Thursday, as his top diplomat departed Moscow empty-handed after discussions with Putin and other Russian officials.

The Trump administration believes the Assad regime launched the April 4 gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun from the Shayrat airfield. The Observatory has decried the arrangement as "demographic engineering".

Tillerson reiterated the USA position that Assad must eventually relinquish power in Syria.

He stressed that a political settlement "is the only way to return Syria to peace and reduce tensions in the Middle East".

Equally remarkable was Trump's uninhibited praise for the leader of China, a country he railed against during the campaign for ripping off the U.S.

The US did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen, the official emphasized. We are watching the regime's actions carefully. Moscow rejected calls by the USA to withdraw support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

"We have agreed that the current stage in our relations regarding the global agenda is not calm, to say the least", Lavrov said.

"Talking about the whole of the Syrian government, we want it to be democratic, and we want it to be secular as well", he said.

"The recent chemical weapons attack carried out in Syria was planned and executed by Syrian forces, and we are confident of that", Tillerson said.

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The foreign secretary urged the country to stop acting "as a lifeline for Assad's murderous regime".

"Today's vote could have been a turning point".

Staffan de Mistura told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that he is ready to hold a new round of talks between the government and opposition in May but some things should be sorted out first. Ten countries supported the text, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in rejecting it.

"... With its veto, Russian Federation said no to accountability". "We don't want a new Cold War".

France and Britain expressed its dismay over the Russian veto. "No one showed us anything, no one said anything, although we repeatedly asked to produce the details on which these unfounded accusations lie". USA officials have said that there is "no doubt" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attack.

"Vicious slaughter of innocent civilians with chemical weapons including the barbaric killing of small and helpless children and babies must be forcefully rejected by any nation that values human life", Trump told reporters.

Russian Federation on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding the Syrian regime cooperate with an investigation into a deadly chemical attack last week. He called for an "honest investigation" of the attack and said Russian Federation was "not convinced" by evidence that showed the Assad regime was culpable.

The Security Council is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. EDT to vote.

In what was effectively an ultimatum, Tillerson on Tuesday said that Moscow must calculate the costs of remaining an ally of Assad, the Iranians and Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah. The two authoritarian governments support each other on major foreign policy problems, dislike domestic protest and see the U.S. in a similar way.

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