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G7 Leaders Talk Syria in Italy, Push for Sanctions on Russia

LUCCA, Italy (AP) — The Latest on Group of Seven meeting of foreign ministers from industrialized nations (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

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.

The foreign ministers of Italy, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Canada then 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.

3:20 p.m.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says Group of Seven foreign ministers are considering imposing new sanctions on Russian individuals over Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Johnson says ministers meeting in Lucca, Italy on Monday and Tuesday “will be discussing the possibility of further sanctions, certainly, on some of the Syrian military figures and indeed on some of the Russian military figures.”

The G-7 foreign ministers are discussing their response to last week’s chemical attack in Syria, which the West blames on Assad’s forces – and by extension its Russian backers.

Britain has been among those calling most strongly for a tough new approach to Russia.

8:23 a.m.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response.

The meeting in the Tuscan walled city of Lucca that starts Monday aims to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad.

Last week’s nerve gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed more than 80 people stirred President Donald Trump to strike for the first time at Assad’s forces.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano says Europe’s broad support for the U.S. military strikes contributed to a “renewed harmony” between the United States and its partners.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is attending the first meeting of G-7 foreign ministers since Donald Trump took office.

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