Tillerson, Lavrov open tense meeting in Moscow

It was the eighth veto by Russian Federation, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, on a Western-backed Syria resolution and reflected the deep division that has left the U.N.'s most powerful body struggling to tackle the use of banned chemical weapons and to help end the six-year Syrian conflict.

Lavrov gave Tillerson an icy welcome, diving straight into Moscow's grievances with Washington in what would usually be warm welcoming remarks. "No", Trump said. But, he added, "I see them using gas. we have to do something".

"And of course, that's not to mention that apart from the statements, we observed very recently the extremely worrying actions, when an illegal attack against Syria was undertaken", he added.

Russia, a permanent member of 15-nation Council, exercised the veto yesterday when a draft resolution drafted by France, the United Kingdom and the U.S. was tabled here.

"As a whole, the administration's stance with regards to Syria remains a mystery. Inconsistency is what comes to mind first of all".

The United States, NATO's most powerful member, spends more on defense than all the others combined - 3.61 percent of GDP in 2016, according to NATO estimates. I have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing, and it was very, very successfully done. Lavrov told the press that there needs to be "an objective investigation".

When she was done addressing Russia's role, Haley turned to Iran saying, "Iran is dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so it can expand its own reach".

Follow along here for the latest updates on the Tillerson-Lavrov news conference.

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Trump, standing alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, called on allies to "work together to resolve the disaster" in Syria and thanked them for condemning Assad. Moscow hasn't seen "a single fact, or even a hint at facts" confirming that the Russians interfered, he said.

Russian Federation again cast a veto at the United Nations Security Council to shield the Assad regime, blocking a Western bid on Wednesday to condemn a deadly gas attack in Syria and push the regime to cooperate with investigators.

Trump responded to the gas attack by firing 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday.

After initially declining a meeting between Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin agreed to it at the last minute. Instead Trump expressed his desire to have closer ties between the two nations while he is still president.

Meanwhile, Tillerson said that the relationship between Washington and Moscow is "at a low point".

"The state secretary hasn't threatened to use new sanctions".

"What I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it", Trump said. The strikes came after a sarin gas attack on civilians in Syria that killed dozens.

Despite hopes of an improvement in Russia-US ties under Trump, the Tillerson-Lavrov talks look set to be dominated by the split over Syria - where more than 320,000 people have died in six years of war. The poll also showed that 63 percent of Americans believe we should be doing more in Syria, 70 percent of Americans support imposing tighter sanctions on Syria in the global community and only 39 percent of voters support putting troops on the ground to remove Assad. "But when I see people using awful, disgusting chemical weapons. and see these handsome kids that are dead in their father's arms, or you see kids gasping for life. when you see that, I immediately called (Defense Secretary) General Mattis".

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