Putin Will Not Meet Tillerson In Russia, As Confusion Grows Over US Policy Toward Syria

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Putin Will Not Meet Tillerson In Russia, As Confusion Grows Over US Policy Toward Syria

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

While the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seem unable to agree on what the right policy is regarding Syria and specifically Assad, with the former saying a top priority of Trump is to oust Assad, while the latter claimed over the weekend that the Islamic State is the key concern while Assad’s fate and that the people of Syria should decide Assad’s fate, Russia is not waiting for clarification.

On Monday morning, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was not due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visits Moscow later this week. He will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov however, Peskov said.

Commenting on U.S. missile strikes against Syria last week, Peskov said the action had shown Washington’s total unwillingness to cooperate on Syria. He said renewed calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down would not help to resolve the crisis.

“There is no other alternative,” to peace talks in Geneva and Astana, Peskov said.

Meanwhile Tillerson, who on Monday was in Italy for a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Tuscany, said the United States will hold responsible anyone who commits crimes against humanity, just days after the U.S. military unexpectedly attacked Syria. We assume US drone operators, whose actions have caused thousands of innocents deaths over the past decade, will be exempts from this “responsibility.”

While prior to the April 7 missile strikes President Donald Trump had indicated he would be less interventionist than his predecessors and willing to overlook human rights abuses if it was in U.S. interests, Tillerson said the United States would not let such crimes go unchallenged. “We rededicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world,” he told reporters while commemorating a 1944 German Nazi massacre in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.

As Reuters adds, European ministers are eager to hear whether Washington is now committed to overthrowing Assad, who is backed by Russia. They also want the United States to put pressure on Moscow to distance itself from Assad.

Once again reiterating the policy confusion over Syria, Tillerson said at the weekend that the defeat of Islamic State remained the U.S. priority, while the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that “regime change” in Syria was also a priority for Trump.

The mixed messages have confused and frustrated European allies, who are eager for full U.S. support for a political solution based on a transfer of power in Damascus.

The Americans say they agree, but there’s nothing to show for it behind (the scenes). They are absent from this and are navigating aimlessly in the dark,” said a senior European diplomat, who declined to be named.

Italy, Germany, France and Britain have invited foreign ministers from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar to sit down with the G7 group on Tuesday morning to discuss Syria. All oppose Assad’s rule.

The foreign ministers’ discussions in Tuscany will prepare the way for a leaders’ summit in Sicily at the end of May where foreign ministers will also talk about growing tensions with North Korea, as the United States moves a navy strike group near the Korean peninsula amid concerns over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

They will also discuss Libya. Italy is hoping for vocal support for a United Nations-backed government in Tripoli which has struggled to establish its authority even in the city, let alone in the rest of the violence-plagued north African country. The Trump administration has not yet defined a clear policy and Rome fears Washington may fall into step with Egypt and Russia, which support general Khalifa Haftar, a powerful figure in eastern Libya.

 

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  • chris chuba

    When I hear Nikki Haley speak I have flashbacks to one of my favorite shows of yesteryear, ‘Boy the way Glenn Miller played, SOONGS THAT MADE THE HIT PARAAAADE’
    Edith, you are a Dingbat!

    I don’t understand protocols but if Putin had been planning to meet w/Tillerson, what’s the harm in still meeting him and giving him a piece of his mind. I don’t mean screaming because that is not Putin’s style but in making him understand the gravity of the situation. I suppose he has confidence that Lavrov can handle this.

    I am flabbergasted at my country, we are reaching Caligula level of insanity.

    • EL ZORRO

      On the diplomatic level, a cancelation of a meeting has more connotation than a verbal confrontation.

    • Bob

      It is generally a far more powerful message to actively decline someone without reservation, rather than to pointlessly confront or indicate ambivalence with them, they are then left to ponder the realities of the situation and the ball sits firmly in their court.

    • Ho Pw

      Hezbollah Sec-Gen, Hassan Nasrallah was spot on when he said many years ago the whole Syria War is the continuation of the 2006 Lebanon War. Because after nearly 7 years using foreign-backed terrorists, the Resistance of Axis is growing stronger by the day as the war continues. Jordan is worry because the Syrian army is pushing the Zionist-backed terrorists further away from Damascus towards the Jordan border.

      • Bob

        Saw those remarks from Nasrallah too. His conclusion was that 2006 was indicative to IDF strategists that assaults on South Lebanon were too costly, based on growing levels of Hezbollah’s anti armor technology – RPG-29 and Konkurs.
        To drive upward into South Lebanon, there are only specific lowland canyon avenues from Israel, and these can be effectively targeted with ATGM’s from high points as IDF discovered.
        Nasrallah was of opinion that the proxy war on Syria was a war on Hezbollah by alternate means – using Saudi and NATO backed Islamist militants to topple the Syrian secular state, and it’s support for Hezbollah.

        • Ho Pw

          The Zionist regime never was a formidable power in the Middle East. The Zionist regime was defeated in 1982, 2000 and again in 2006. The first Lebanon War of 1982, the Zionist regime(78,000) together with her allies the Lebanon Front(30,000) and South Lebanon army(5,000) was defeated by Syrian army(22,000) and PLO(15,000). The Zionist regime and its allies had 897 tanks, 1,500 APC, 634 aircraft compare to Syria 432 tanks, 450 APC and 450 aircraft. The result of second Lebanon War from 1985 to 2000, victory goes to Hezbollah. The came the third 2006 Lebanon war, again the Zionist regime supported by America was defeated by Hezbollah.

  • EL ZORRO

    “Meanwhile Tillerson, who on Monday was in Italy for a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Tuscany, said the United States will hold responsible anyone who commits crimes against humanity, just days after the U.S. military unexpectedly attacked Syria”…TRANSLATION…Tillerson was in Italy Monday to receive orders from the IMF/BIS on how to CONTINUO the campaign of CRIMES AGAINS HUMANITY AROUND THE WORLD, WITH TOTAL IMPUNITY.

    • Ho Pw

      The US never fought a war by herself since WW2. I hope WW3 happened before i leave this world. At least i know who win who lose it will definitely be the end of the US world hegemony and the western civilisation. Which is good for those who survive the nuclear show-down.

  • EL ZORRO

    Rex Tillerson said… “We rededicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world,”…TRANSLATION…ONLY those APPROVED, like Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Israel on the Palestinians/Syria, and the UNITED STATES MILITARY, are allow to commit crimes agains innocents ANY WHERE with TOTAL IMPUNITY.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    US foreign policy is a crime against humanity. Fantasy gas attacks are not.

  • pao

    So, who will hold the US responsible for it’s growing list of crimes against humanity?

    • Ho Pw

      It is more like who will bring the US to the international tribunal court? The US appoint herself as the world’s policeman, and also the persecutor, and also the judge and also the executor and she has a team of corrupted jury in the UNSC working closely with her who knows what kind of verdict their paymaster wants.

  • AMHants

    I would pass him down to one of the junior foreign ministers. Why should Russia waste their time with him. He expects Russia to deliver and has nothing to offer them.

  • Abdul Majeed

    …starting to sound like a lot of dead Americans.

  • Bob

    Neo-Cons are trying to muscle their way into foreign policy control and get back into Syrian regime change business.

    • Thegr8rambino

      how to stop them?

      • Ho Pw

        Do or Die, It is either now or never. Liberate Palestine.

      • Bob

        These people are seriously obsessive – they are absolutely focused and fixated on reconstructing and Balkanising the large Arab republics of the middle east, foregrounding Israeli security as their priority, and harboring a lingering loathing and resentment of the Russian state largely due to ethnic reasons – so how to stop their influence?
        It is excellent question. The average US voter took a shot at winding them down with the outsider Trump electoral victory. But the forces aligned against that voter constituent are remarkable – the MSM/State Department/Pentagon/RHINO’s/Democrats…

  • Thegr8rambino

    will he meet with lavrov at least?

  • Ho Pw

    Wise decision.

  • Ho Pw

    I can only see the best way to solve the Syria War once and for all against the Zionists is to liberate Palestine. If the US and its allies attack Syria, this will provide Hezbollah the chance it has been waiting for so long to end the occupation of Palestine.