US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday there was a “low level of trust” between Moscow and Washington after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
“There is a low level of trust between our two countries,” Tillerson said at a news conference following the talks. “The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.”
Russia vetoes UN resolution on Syria attack, China abstains
Russia again cast a veto at the United Nations Security Council to shield Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, blocking a Western bid on Wednesday to condemn a deadly gas attack in Syria and push the Syrian government to cooperate with investigators.
China, which has vetoed six resolutions on Syria since the civil war began six years ago, abstained from Wednesday’s vote, along with Ethiopia and Kazakhstan. Ten countries voted in favor of the text, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting no.
US, Russia must agree on Syria: UN envoy
The United Nations peace envoy for Syria on Wednesday urged the United States and Russia to agree on a way forward to end the war in Syria and pave the way for a “real negotiation.”
Special envoy Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council that he was ready to convene a new round of talks in May but that US-Russian cooperation was needed.
His appeal came as Tillerson was in talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Lavrov following US missile strikes in Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.
The two countries have “serious differences” but also a “common interest” in ending the six-year war that has killed 320,000 people, De Mistura said.
“They must find a way to work together to stabilize the situation in a deliberate, realistic and concerted way in support of the political process,” he said.
The United Nations is ready to lead a “real negotiation” on a “package for an orderly, mapped-out, credible and irreversible, agreed political transition” to end the war, he added.
The council was meeting ahead of a vote later in the day on a draft resolution demanding that the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of the suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.
Russia is expected to veto the measure -- which would mark the eighth time that Moscow has used its veto power to block Security Council action directed at its ally, Syria.
“Let us view this moment of crisis -- and it is a moment of crisis -- as a watershed and an opportunity for a new level of seriousness in the search for a political solution,” said De Mistura.