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G7: No new sanctions on Russia, Syria

G7: No new sanctions on Russia, Syria
The G7 group of nations has failed to reach an agreement over threatening new sanctions against Russia and Syria over last week's chemical attack.

The group was seeking a common position on the Syrian conflict, before US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flies to Russia later on Tuesday to try to persuade it to abandon its Syrian ally, BBC reported.

The G7 nations during a meeting in the Italian city of Lucca agreed there was no solution to the Syria crisis with President Assad in power. Sanctions against Russia and Syria will not be put in place until after an investigation into last week's apparent chemical attack, British government sources said.

Syria denied it carried out any chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun last week that left at least 89 people dead. Members of the G7 group of leading industrialised nations agreed to delay implementing sanctions until there was "hard and irrefutable evidence" over the alleged chemical attack, said the report.

The meeting brought together Foreign Ministers from the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the G7 had broadened consultations in Italy on Tuesday morning, with key regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey.

He declared the talks "a political success".

According to one G7 source, Tillerson plans to offer the Putin regime a bald choice, between cutting Bashar al-Assad loose and being rewarded with a thaw in relations with the west; or continuing to back him, and risking a Libyan-style outcome. The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was violently deposed and killed in 2011 by rebels lent air support by Nato powers, including the UK.

Whitehall sources say Britain has been instrumental in helping to persuade the US to support the idea that Assad – and his family – must be removed from power before progress can be made. Johnson is pushing for the strongest possible conclusion, including the threat of targeted sanctions against Syria and Russia.


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