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European countries urge Russia to stop support Assad's regime

Mon, 10.04.2017 14:13



Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering Monday for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response, with participants aiming to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad.

Last week's nerve gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed more than 80 people, stirred President Donald Trump to strike for the first time at Assad's forces. U.S. warships fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian air base from which the U.S. believes the attack was launched.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday at the site of a World War II-era Nazi massacre in central Italy that the United States is rededicating itself to hold to account "any and all" who commit crimes against innocent people.

Tillerson accompanied Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano to Santa'Anna di Stazzema, a site of Nazi atrocities where 560 civilians, including some 130 children, were killed during World War II.

Alfano said the massacre site was a reminder that "peace is not a given. ... That is why we are here to work all together for peace and liberty."

Over the weekend, Alfano said that Europe's broad support for the U.S. military strikes had contributed to a "renewed harmony" between the United States and its partners ahead of the first meeting of G-7 foreign ministers since Donald Trump took office in January.

"We need to remember that not 10 years ago, but 100 or 120 days ago, the concern in Europe was that the United States and the EU were moving apart," Alfano told Sky TG24 Sunday. "I welcome this renewed harmony."

Officials are hoping that this can be leveraged to bring a new diplomatic push to end the 6-year-old civil war in Syria.

Source: businessinsider.com

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