G7 agrees no Syria solution with Assad in power: Italy
Foreign Affairs Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised countries pose for a picture on April 11 in Lucca, Tuscany. Photograph: (AFP)
G7 foreign ministers insist there can be no peace solution for war-torn Syria with President Bashar al-Assad in power, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Tuesday.
The ministers, meeting in Italy as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson readies for crunch talks in Moscow, were agreed that "no future in Syria is possible with Bashar al-Assad", Ayrault told reporters.
He said the message for Russia was: "That's enough now. There must be an end to hypocrisy and a very clear return to the political process".
"This is not an aggressive stance towards Russia, rather a hand out-held, with clear intentions," he said.
The United States has hardened its stance on Damascus since a suspected chemical weapons on a rebel-held Syrian town that killed at least 87 civilians and triggered a retaliatory US bombing raid on a Syrian air base.
The West is also pushing for Russia to rein in the Syrian regime, with the war now in its seventh year.
Ayrault was speaking at the close of the two-day ministerial meeting of the G7 which groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
The group also held a special meeting on Syria on Tuesday with counterparts from Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
Tillerson headed from Italy to Russia, where he is set to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.