Tillerson, Lavrov open tense meeting; Putin repeats assertion on chemical weapons

Putin left some unsure whether the meeting was going to happen, after he left Tillerson, a man who he once awarded a medal of friendship and the first Senior Trump official to visit Russian Federation, waiting for hours. He said the recent chemical weapons attack was really the act of terrorists and rebels.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump while talking to Fox Business Network said that President Vladimir Putin is backing an "evil person" in Syria said his support for Assad is "very bad for Russian Federation and for the mankind".

The deal was suspended after USA strikes against a Syrian airbase following last week's suspected chemical attack in Idlib province, in an act Moscow labelled "aggression against a sovereign state".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear to agree on at least one thing - the relationship between the U.S. and Russia is at a low point even for the two historic adversaries.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries", Tillerson added.

With tensions rising over Syria and other issues, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that USA relations with Russian Federation "may be at an all-time low" as he moved ever further away from his campaign promises to establish better ties with Moscow.

UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said after the vote that "regardless of the veto today, trust these words: We will hold the regime to account".

Tillerson is right that "the world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship".

But Assad also refuted these claims, claiming that it had not been affected by the attack.

Trump called the attack the crossing of a "red line", but members of the Security Council who opposed the missile strike said the United States may have jumped the gun in acting unilaterally and that the resolution assumes Syria's culpability before the facts are established. "And it was very, very successfully done".

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the U.S. position that Assad should leave power.

Tillerson said last week the Russians were "complicit or simply incompetent".

Lavrov said he had a "frank" talk with Tillerson.

The two did outline some areas of agreement Wednesday. He says both countries have agreed that their lines of communications must stay open.

The civil war is separate from the USA -led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country.

But he reversed his position at the conference, telling journalists: "I said it was obsolete". "Russia, as their closest ally in the conflict, perhaps has the best means of helping Assad recognize this reality".

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.

The West has accused Assad's forces of carrying out the attack in Idlib province that shocked the world.

"Those steps are under way", he said.

He called Assad a "butcher" for his treatment of the Syrian people. "Putin is the leader of Russian Federation".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders pledged in 2014 to halt defense spending cuts and move toward a guideline target of 2 percent of gross domestic product within a decade.

Lavrov said Moscow and Washington reaffirmed their commitment to fight global terrorism.

"I know they're doing investigations into that right now".

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