MESOP FLASH : ITALY BLOCKED SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA – Syria war: G7 rejects sanctions on Russia after ‘chemical attack’

11 April 2017 – BBC NEWS  – The G7 group of nations has failed to reach agreement over threatening new sanctions against Russia and Syria.Foreign ministers were seeking a common position on the Syrian conflict, before the US secretary of state flies to Russia to try to persuade it to abandon its Syrian ally.The nations agreed there was no solution to the Syria crisis with President Assad in power.But UK proposals to target sanctions at senior military leaders were sidelined.

The diplomacy in the Italian town of Lucca follows the latest apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria..Speaking after the end of the G7 meeting, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the missile strike “was necessary as a matter of US national security interest”.

“We do not want the regime’s uncontrolled stockpile of chemical weapons to fall into the hands of Isis [so-called Islamic State] or other terrorist groups who could and want to attack the United States or our allies. “Nor can we accept the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons by other actors or countries in Syria, or elsewhere.” BBC 11 April 2017 – Mr Tillerson will head to Moscow for talks on Syria later on Tuesday, hoping to persuade the Russians that they have an unreliable ally in President Assad. Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano – hosting the G7 talks – said ministers wanted to engage with Russia to put pressure on President Assad, adding that “we must not push Russia into a corner”.”We think the Russians have the leverage that is needed to put pressure on Assad and to get him to observe the commitments with regard to the ceasefire,” he added.