London, -Britain has failed to win G7 backing for new sanctions on top Russian and Syrian figures, but the US secretary of state warned that President Assad’s days in power were numbered as he headed to Moscow for talks.

G7 foreign ministers meeting in Italy could not reach a consensus on a call by the British foreign minster Boris Johnson for targeted sanctions, and said there must be an investigation into last week’s chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held town before new measures could be adopted, the Guardian newspaper reported .

America’s top diplomat Rex Tillerson, who has flown from the Italian summit to Moscow for talks with Russia, nevertheless warned that the Assad government was “coming to an end”.

“Russia can be a part of that future and play an important role,” the US secretary of state said. Or, he added, it could maintain its alliance with Syria, Iran and militant group Hezbollah, “which we believe is not going to serve Russia’s interests’ longer term”.

The G7 blames the Assad regime’s military for the chemical attack last week, and ministers have strongly supported US missile strikes that targeted a Syrian airbase believed to have been used to launch the attack.

The US intervention had offered “a window of opportunity to construct a new positive condition for the political process in Syria”, said Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano.

However, isolating Russia or pushing it into a corner “would be wrong”, he said. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency