Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Syria’s Government ‘Coming to an End,’ Tillerson Warns Before Russia Trip

THE NEW YORK TIMES: LUCCA, Italy — Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said on Tuesday that the reign of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was “coming to an end” and warned that Russia was at risk of becoming irrelevant in the Middle East by continuing to support him.

Mr. Tillerson, in comments made just before he traveled to Moscow for a high-stakes summit meeting, sought to clear up the United States’ position on Syria while also declaring that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia needed to choose whether to side with Mr. Assad or the West.

Russia can be a part of the discussions “and play an important role,” Mr. Tillerson said at a Group of 7 meeting in Lucca, Italy, or it “can maintain its alliance with this group, which we believe is not going to serve Russia’s interests longer term.” » | Gardiner Harris | Tuesday, April 11, 2017