- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says relations between Moscow and Washington are “at a low point” and marked by serious distrust.

Tillerson spoke at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He met with both Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin earlier Wednesday.

Tillerson says the United State is confident in its assessment that Syria used chemical weapons in a bombing last week and alleged that Syria has used such weapons more than 50 times in the past.

Last week’s attack prompted Washington to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian air base.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow and Washington have agreed on the need for the United Nations to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Lavrov spoke Wednesday after several hours of talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that focused on tensions over Syria sparked by a chemical attack that killed more than 80.

Lavrov says Russia thinks there is no need for a U.N. Security Council resolution on the attack until the U.N. chemical weapons watchdog has completed an objective probe.

Lavrov also says that Russian President Vladimir Putin could restore a military hotline with the U.S. if Washington focuses on fighting the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Russia has cut the hotline in response following a U.S. strike on a Syrian air base last week.

 

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