LONDON: Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has cancelled a scheduled visit to Moscow next week, his office announced on Saturday, saying “developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally”.

“My priority is now to continue contact with the US and others in the run up to the G7 meeting on April 10-11,” said Johnson, who was due to travel to Moscow on Monday.

“We deplore Russia’s continued defence of the Assad regime even after the chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,” added Johnson. He then called on Russia to do “everything possible to bring about a political settlement in Syria and work with the rest of the international community to ensure that the shocking events of the last week are never repeated”.

“I discussed these plans in detail with Secretary Tillerson,” Johnson said, adding that the US foreign minister would still visit Moscow as planned following the G7 meeting to “deliver that clear and co-ordinated message to the Russians.” Johnson expressed his support to the United States on Friday after it fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat airfield near Homs in central Syria.

The move was in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun earlier in the week which killed at least 86 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Russia, one of the main backers of the Assad regime alongside Iran, condemned the US strike, denouncing a “flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression”.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

No excuses
Updated 09 Feb, 2023

No excuses

The govt should stop attempting to hijack the electoral process with its shenanigans and assist ECP to fulfill its role.
Growing expenses
09 Feb, 2023

Growing expenses

WITH their costs going up following the massive currency devaluation and increase in fuel prices in the last couple...
Toxic environment
09 Feb, 2023

Toxic environment

FOR millions in our teeming cities, clean air and water have become luxuries. What is even more alarming is that...
A grave tragedy
Updated 08 Feb, 2023

A grave tragedy

It is hoped that Pakistan continues to send as many personnel and relief goods as needed to Turkiye, Syria.
Pharma shutdown
08 Feb, 2023

Pharma shutdown

IN the midst of an economic and political maelstrom, a fresh crisis threatens the availability of drugs in the...
PSL season
Updated 08 Feb, 2023

PSL season

PSL has provided a launching pad for several of the team’s current stars, and for them, hitting top form will be key.