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Moscow Criticizes London after Canceling Johnson Trip | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrives at the Global Investment Conference 2013 in London in May 9, 2013. (Reuters)

Moscow – Russia criticized on Monday the decision of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to cancel his scheduled trip to Moscow at the end of the month over the latest developments in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the decision reflects a “lack of understanding of events in Syria.”

Johnson cancelled the visit, scheduled for April 10, after a poison gas attack in a rebel-held area of Syria prompted the United States to launch missile strikes against a Syrian airbase.

The Russian Foreign ministry said the decision to cancel the visit showed once more that there was little to gain from talking to Britain, which it said had no real influence over world affairs.

Johnson had said on Saturday that he cancelled the April 10 visit after the recent developments in Syria.

“Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally,” Johnson said in a statement.

“My priority is now to continue contact with the US and others in the run-up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April – to build coordinated international support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process.”

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering Monday for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the US military response, with participants aiming to pressure Russia to end its support for regime head Bashar Assad.

Last week’s nerve gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed more than 80 people, stirred President Donald Trump to strike for the first time at Assad’s forces. US warships fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian air base from which the US believes the attack was launched.