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    April 12, 2017

    Zakharova cites unclear US strategy as reason for not cancelling Tillerson visit

    April 12, 2017 - Fort Russ News - 
    RIA Novosti - translated by J. Arnoldski - 

    According to Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow was not cancelled despite American strikes on Syria because Moscow wants to understand Washington’s position on key international problems. 

    “Because we need to understand what this country’s strategy is,” Zakharova emphasized in an interview for Dozhd TV.

    Washington and its coalition allies have blamed the Syrian army for the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province on April 4th. Without showing any evidence and not listening to Moscow’s call to conduct a thorough investigation before blaming the attack on Damascus, the US struck a Syrian military base on the night of April 7th. Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem claimed that government troops have never used and do not intend to use chemical weapons against civilians and terrorists.

    Zakharova explained further: “In my opinion, nothing is clear to anyone now…We don’t understand what they’re going to do in Syria. And not only us. It’s not clear to anybody what they’re going to do in the Middle East, because the Middle East is a very complex region...No one understands what they’re going to do with Iran. It’s not clear to anyone what they’re going to do with Afghanistan. And excuse me, I haven’t even mentioned Iraq yet…No one understands what they’re going to do with North Korea… Until recently, few understood what they're going to do with NATO.”

    According to Zakharova, this is thus an issue of bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.

    “Of course, for us it is fundamentally important how the Americans see Russian-American relations because, frankly speaking, we’ve gone through different stages and I think that what is needed is drawing certain conclusions and working on mistakes. How they see the development of relations, how interested they are, and what strategy they have - this is also a very important issue,” the Russian diplomat stressed. 

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