Tillerson's mission

It's not every day an American Secretary of State flies into Russia with a serious agenda. Rex Tillerson, it seems means business as he meets his counterpart, Sergei Lavrov and both want to see where the other one is coming from.

Tensions have obviously escalated since the American air strike on the Syrian base in retaliation for Assad's chemical attack. Tillerson may have as some have described dubious links to the Russians never the less he is hoping to pull Russia away from its orbit of supporting Bashar al-Assad.

Is Tillerson on a hopeless quest?

How likely is it that Rex Tillerson a hard-bitten negotiator previously from the oil industry can make Putin see sense and distance himself from Assad?

Well, when you consider that Bashar al-Assad is Russia's man in the Middle East and ensures their writ runs in Syria not very likely.

The Russians have a naval base on the Med on the Syrian coast and have military personnel there so they have too much to lose in giving up Assad. The most likely outcome of the meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov is some kind of compromise deal.

Although tensions exist now between Russia and America neither wants to see Syria become an Islamic state run by Jihadis of either Islamic State or Al Qaeda.

This could be a working basis by which a compromise agreement can be made and hopefully de-escalate simmering tensions between the two sides.

What was said before Tillerson's meeting

As Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow for talks with Sergei Lavrov a Russian deputy foreign minister described the American behaviour as "Loutish and primitive".

Sergei Ryabkov was the minister who said this and said the Americans position on the 6-year long Syrian war remains a mystery.

Vladimir Putin is apparently humiliated by the American air strike even though the Americans supposedly briefed him. Why does he feel humiliated one could ask well there could be many reasons but those are best known to him.

One thing is certain though Tillerson's counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the other Sergei have said they regard the American attack as provocative and illegal. Maybe next time and God forbid there is a next time the Russians will take action against US interests in the Middle East.

As if to prove this in the aftermath of the American strike the Russians said they would be beefing up Syrian air defences.

Tillerson and Lavrov

Both men know that in their negotiations there is now a lot at stake and perhaps the Syrian conflict could cause a wider conflagration. Let us hope that in their talks the deal they hammer out will be for a peaceful way forward for Syria and the world at large.