As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Heads to Russia, He Warns Putin to Abandon Assad

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) speaks with US Ambassador to Russia John F Tefft (R) upon his arrival at the Vnukovo II Government airport in Moscow on April 11, 2017.  (Photo: Alexander Nemenova/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that if Russia maintains its alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia risks becoming irrelevant in the Middle East. The comments came just before Tillerson boarded a plane to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and after failed efforts by the G7 countries to develop a unified approach to Syria.


Angela Stent, director, Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University; former adviser on Russian under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; author, "The Limits of Partnership: U.S. -Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century"