Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to meet with Italy and Russia is shadowed by the recent Syrian chemical weapons attack and the United State’s response to the attacks. The reason being is that Russia has been vocal of its displeasure with the United State’s actions. However, Tillerson has been declining to acknowledge the Russian protests. Likewise, many news outlets have asked Tillerson on what he felt about the Russian Government’s protests on the entire ordeal and to their dismay Tillerson deferred the question to the Russian Government by stating, “regardless of whether Russia was complicit here or whether they were simply incompetent or whether they got outwitted by the Bashar al-Assad regime, you would have to ask the Russians that question”(NPR).
Tillerson will have the opportunity to discuss the situation in Syria with Russia personally as he is heading to meet with Russia as well as Italy this week. The reason why he was stopping at Italy was to participate in an G-7 conference where he planned to discuss Syria with other G-7 members and how they should respond as well to the recent developments in Syria. The G-7 are the seven most powerful industrialized nations, this includes: The United States, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Canada. Furthermore, the EU [European Union] is also represented. Additionally, the G-7 summits have always had flash points in global current events from the most recent Syrian chemical attacks to the issue of Iraq.
However, much of the G-7 are eager to find out how committed the United States, specifically the Trump Administration is to its new proposed “”re-dedication” to keeping the world safe from the heinous weapons usage that was seen in Syria. In addition, the reason being is that the Administration has been making differing statements from stating that the ultimate defeat of IS is their main goal too their statements made in the UN of wanting Syria to have a changing of the guard in the regime. Yet, Russia a former member of the G-7 has already made it clear of its opinion on the Syrian issue, which is that the U.S strikes against the Syrian government is a clear action against the sovereignty of Syria. Thus, Russia has vocalized that it will cut off the hot-line between the two states (US and Russia) which is used to prevent any inadvertent actions in Syria between the two powers.