U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow today in the Trump Administration’s first diplomatic visit to Russia. A meeting had not been planned between Tillerson and Vladimir Putin but circumstances changed and the two met for a discussion lasting two hours.
Tillerson and Lavrov spoke on several issues concerning Global and regional security. Tillerson said during the press conference in Moscow, “clearly the reign of al-Assad is coming to an end. There is no role for al-Assad or the Assad Family in the future of Syria.”
Both Tillerson and Lavrov agreed Syria must be stabilized, Korea must be de-nuclearized and work needs to be done toward solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They also agreed for the need of more talks to work out details for substantive solutions to the many issues.
In the first hundred days of his administration, Trump has put global “Bad Actors” on notice that their behavior will no longer be tolerated. The American aircraft carrier ‘Carl Vincent,’ escorted by destroyers and guided missile cruisers, steamed toward the Korean Peninsula and will be in place to assure safety for the U.S. and her allies in the region.
Syrian President, Bashir al-Assad has become increasingly emboldened, with Russia’s backing and recently attacked the Khan Shaykhun area of Idlib Province with chemical weapons. Lavrov denied that evidence of use of chemical weapons existed, but the UNHCR High Commission For Refugees has confirmed the use of Sarin gas during the Syrian attack
Before the meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov, Russia and Iran had drawn their own “Red-line” in the sand stating that if Syria were attacked again by the U.S., serious retaliation would be in order. The tone during the press conference, after the two met was more civil than the previous Russian and the U.S statements. There appeared to be an air of future agreement, although the two nations disagreed on many important issues.
The meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov appeared to be one of mutual respect and a willingness to work on the important issues that also concerned business between the two nations. What was said between Tillerson and Putin can only be speculated upon, but the outcome of the press conference was certainly favorable for future cooperation.