Tillerson says Russian relations 'under considerable stress'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells reporters that the relationship with Russia is "under considerable stress" but that the two countries hope to work together on fighting terrorism in Syria and ending the Syrian war. VIDEO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS)  - United States (US) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasised cooperation with Russia on the conflict in Syria on Tuesday (Aug 1) as means of testing the ability of the US and Russia to work together. 

"The relationship, as you know, on Russia continues to be under considerable stress," Tillerson told reporters at a press briefing in Washington, DC. 

"We have explored in the early days one area of mutual interest which is terrorism. And we've chosen the theatre in Syria as a place in which we test our ability to work together," he said. 

Tillerson also stressed that it continues to be United States policy that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has no role in leading Syria. 

The United States was also working with Russia, Tillerson said, to make sure that a civil war does not break out after the defeat of the Islamic State. 

"We are working closely with Russia and other parties to see if we can agree a path forward on how to stabilise Syria in the post-ISIS world," said Tillerson.