Counter-terrorism to be discussed during Tillerson’s visit: Russia

Moscow, April 8 (IANS) Russia intends to discuss international counter-terrorism with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his upcoming visit next week, despite strained Russia-US ties, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said on Saturday.

“We have a multitude of topics, among which international counter-terrorism is of great significance,” Zakharov told Russia’s Rossiya-1 TV channel.

“Moscow is ready to cooperate with Washington even at the toughest moment of bilateral relations,” she said.

The US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield in the central province of Homs on Thursday, raising tensions in Russia-US ties.

“We will listen to what Tillerson has to say (about the US missile strike in Syria). It is necessary to make it absolutely clear that such US military action is unacceptable to us,” the spokeswoman added.

According to a Pentagon statement, the strike was in response to the Syrian government’s chemical attack on Tuesday in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Noting that the United States has recently launched an investigation into the chemical attack, Zakharov said the US strike on Syria is not in line with its attempts to discover truth about the incident.

“They carried out strikes on the hardware that they wanted to inspect. This has absolutely nothing to do with attempts to find out what happened to the chemical weapons,” Zakharov said.

The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed Friday the suspension of the memorandum of understanding on the prevention of flight safety incidents in Syria with the United States, which was signed in 2015.

–IANS

ahm/bg

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