Tillerson and other G-7 ministers aim to press Russia to end Assad support

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Group of Seven foreign ministers are sitting down in Italy for their first roundtable session at a meeting dominated by Syria’s civil war and Russia’s role in it.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano greeted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the other G-7 diplomats as they arrived Monday at the centuries-old Ducal Palace in the Tuscan city of Lucca.

Tillerson is attending the first meeting of G-7 foreign ministers since Donald Trump took office.

The foreign ministers of Italy, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Canada sat around a table to begin their talks.

Tillerson is due to travel to Moscow after the two-day G-7 meeting, and the group hopes to send a unified message that Russia must end its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in the wake of a deadly chemical weapons attack last week.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says the group will discuss imposing new sanctions on Syrian military figures and Russian military individuals responsible for backing them.

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