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18 April 2017, 02:31 | Clarence Schmidt
But that one would have condemned the US missile strikes ordered by President Donald Trump in response to the chemical attack.
Tillerson's comments came at a press conference following his meeting with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "I would like to think that they didn't know but certainly they could have".
Ahead of the summit, Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, was reported to have accused the United States of "primitive, loutish rhetoric" on Syria as he said Mr Tillerson wanted to discuss no-fly zones in the war-torn country.
"This reminds me very much of the events of 2003, when U.S. representatives in the Security Council showed alleged chemical weapons discovered in Iraq", Putin said, bringing back the spectre of a war started on lies, whose result is a disintegrating, destroyed Iraq. He added there was no talk Wednesday about a possible Trump-Putin meeting.
While the USA has put responsibility for the attack that killed more than 80 people squarely with Assad, Russia believes it was the work of terrorists, with Putin claiming more chemical attacks are on the way in Syria created to frame the Assad regime.
Erdogan's office said in a statement that the two leaders held a telephone conversation during which the Turkish leader stressed that the use of chemical weapons "is the greatest crime against humanity".
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday, April 12, said the relations between the US and Russian Federation were "at a low point" and the two countries remained divided on a range of issues, including Syria. "I said it [Nato] was obsolete".
Trump, last week, had ordered missile strikes at a Syrian airbase after a chemical attack in the country's Idlib province killed 87 civilians, including many women and children.
But in an apparent reversal, Mr Trump said the alliance is a "bulwark of global peace and security".
Russian Federation has criticized previous investigations carried out by the OPCW and the United Nations which blamed the Syrian government for at least three chemical weapons attacks without visiting the sites.
"The level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved but has rather deteriorated", the Russian President said in a TV interview. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers can not have this relationship", he said. Moscow has blamed Syrian rebels.
Moscow and Washington had also agreed to continue cooperating to try to find a political solution for Syria, he said.
Mr Lavrov admitted relations between the two nations "are not the most calm" and some issues were "time bombs" inherited from the Obama administration.
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