US Says No Agreement Reached On UN Probe

However, the USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, did not let up on the criticism of Moscow. "The world's two primary nuclear powers can not have this kind of relationship".

Wednesday's meeting brought no indication that the relationship would improve any time soon.

Trump envoy Tillerson's talks with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have been haunted by the incident that saw the U.S. launch punitive strike against Assad's forces. The US scoops up such a large volume of communications intercepts in areas like Syria and Iraq, the material often is not processed unless there is a particular event that requires analysts to go back and look for supporting intelligence material. He reiterated previous Russian assertions that the chemical weapons attack last week that prompted a US Tomahawk missile barrage on a Syrian air base was either a rebel provocation or caused by Syrian warplanes hitting a rebel chemical weapons facility. But he did not threaten to lessen America's contribution or any other moves if partners do not begin paying 2 percent of their respective GDPs, as NATO's charter calls for. "The use of chemical weapons by anyone in any place should be condemned and should be investigated into and the perpetrators should be brought to justice", the ambassador told Rudaw after the eighth veto by Russian Federation since the start of the civil war in 2011.

Tillerson, who met with Putin earlier Wednesday, deplored the "low level of trust" between the countries, whose relations have dropped to a post-Cold War low over Ukraine and Syria. The most important part of this was that the United States was not getting in the way.

It was an ominous opening to Tillerson's visit - the first in Moscow by a Trump Cabinet official.

Beyond Syria, Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election also hovered over what was the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and any Trump administration Cabinet member.

"We see attempts to hamper cooperation between Russian Federation and the USA and exacerbate confrontation", adding this was "short-sighted", TASS quoted him as saying. Russian Federation says rebels were responsible for whatever chemical agent was found, which the Trump administration calls a disinformation campaign. "We will hold the regime to account".

Lavrov had a ready retort: "This is obviously the subject where our views differ". Russian Federation said the resolution had implicitly apportioned blame.




The meetings Wednesday "represent a continuation of our communications and discussions and dialogue that began in Bonn", Tillerson said, referring to a G-20 summit on February 16. when he met with Lavrov.

Lavrov said both sides were set on leading an "uncompromising fight against worldwide terrorism".

Ten countries voted in favour of the resolution while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in voting no.

There were many times when it must not have been easy to be secretary of state Wednesday. He was referring to widespread vacancies throughout the top State Department leadership that has fueled a perception in the US that Tillerson and his agency are being sidelined by Trump.

Trump himself seemed to deliver the coup de grĂ¢ce.

"We have seen very alarming actions recently with an unlawful attack against Syria, " Lavrov said, referring to the cruise missiles President Donald Trump ordered to punish Assad for using chemical weapons.

That sounded like something both Lavrov and Tillerson agreed with.

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