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German top diplomat says G7 not keen to use military force for resolving Syrian crisis

"We want Russia to support the political process aimed at finding a peaceful solution," German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said

ROMA, April 11. /TASS/. The G7 member states want to resolve the Syrian crisis using political methods instead of military force, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said following the G7 ministerial meeting in the Italian city of Lucca.

According to Gabriel, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that Washington shared this approach and would seek to maintain dialogue with Russia on this issue.

"All the G7 countries want to find a political solution in order to avoid military escalation and a new cycle of violence," he added. "We want Russia to support the political process aimed at finding a peaceful solution." According to the German top diplomat, "the US Secretary of State shares this position, while all the ministers participating in the meeting expressed their support for Tillerson ahead of his visit to Moscow.

"I am glad that after sending a clear signal to the Assad regime, the United States does not seek escalation but on the contrary, is willing to build dialogue with Russia," Gabriel said.

On April 7, US President Donald Trump ordered a strike on Syria’s Shayrat military air base located in the Homs Governorate. The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM), came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib Governorate on April 4. The US authorities believe that the airstrike on Idlib was launched from the Shayrat air base.

The Syrian military denied its involvement in the attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry said that on April 4, the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of the town of Khan Shaykhun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were previously used in Aleppo.

Russia strongly opposed the US missile strike. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow considered the attack to be an act of aggression against a sovereign state. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in turn, said that the aggression was carried out under a false pretext.