National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster called on Russia to question its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it's time for Russian leadership "to re-evaluate what are they doing in the Middle East."
In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," McMaster said, "Russia should ask themselves, 'What are we doing here? Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?'"
He added that now is the time for Russian leadership to re-evaluate its policy.
"Russia could be part of the solution," he said, adding that now, much of the world thinks Russia is "part of the problem."
"Do they want it to be a relationship of competition and potential conflict? I don't see how that's in Russian interests. Or do they want it to be a relationship in which we can find areas of cooperation that are in mutual interests?" he asked. "How is it in anyone's interest that this conflict in Syria and this catastrophe in the greater Middle East continues, and they can be part of the solution."
McMaster said he expects Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be "exploring with the Russian leadership this week" those exact issues, adding "the president is determined to do everything he can to advance American interests."
"If that entails working with others to come to solutions in the world that enhance our security, the president will do that," he said. "It's really now up to the Russian leadership to reevaluate what are they doing in the Middle East."
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