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UK foreign minister cancels planned visit to Moscow over Syria’s suspected chemical attack

By Rudaw 8/4/2017
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UK foreign minister cancels planned visit to Moscow over Syria’s suspected chemical attack
UK foreign Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference. Photo: AFP
LONDON, United Kingdom –UK foreign Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a planned visit to Moscow in the wake of the developments in Syria where the Syrian regime stands accused of carrying out a chemical weapons attack against its own population in the northwestern rebel-held city of Idlib, killing 89 people, including children last week. 

Johnson was to visit Moscow on Monday, a main ally of the Syrian regime headed by President Bashar al-Assad.

“Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally,” Johnson said, adding that his priority now is to work with the US, and other members of the G7 “for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process.”

He said that the Russian support for the Assad regime is deplorable, even after the suspected chemical attack. 

The Syrian regime denies that it carried out the nerve agent gas attack in Idlib.

The foreign ministers of the seven most powerful industrial countries are scheduled to meet on April 10-11 in Italy preparing for the  high-level leaders’ summit in Italy later in May to discuss issues concerning global peace and security.

The G7 includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada. 

Russia used to take part in the annual summit, then called G8, but was kicked out in 2014 by the other seven countries in light of the Russian involvement in the Crimea. 

He said that he discussed his plans with Secretary Tillerson in detail, revealing that the latter will visit Russia as planned after the foreign ministers meeting in Italy.

Following the meeting of the G7 foreign ministers, Tillerson “will be able to deliver that clear and coordinated message to the Russians," Johnson said. 

Johnson called on Moscow to do all it can to bring about a “political settlement” in Syria and work with the international community “to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated.”

The US launched Friday 59 missiles on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the suspected  chemical weapon attack that killed dozens of civilians, including many children. US President Donald Trump said there was no doubt Assad was responsible for the attack.
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