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The Latest: Italy assures Japan of broad unity on N. Korea

Associated Press logo Associated Press 10/04/2017
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, talk to each other after laying a wreath at a memorial in Santa' Anna di Stazzema, a site of Nazi atrocities where 560 civilians, including some 130 children, were killed during World War II, Monday, April 10, 2017. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering in Lucca for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response, with participants aiming to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad. (Riccardo Dalle Luche/ANSA via AP) © The Associated Press U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, talk to each other after laying a wreath at a memorial in Santa' Anna di Stazzema, a site of Nazi atrocities where 560 civilians, including some 130 children, were killed during World War II, Monday, April 10, 2017. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering in Lucca for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response, with participants aiming to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad. (Riccardo Dalle Luche/ANSA via AP)

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

7:10 p.m.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of the Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting that the international community was united in its will to pressure North Korea to halt its ballistic missile tests.

The Foreign Ministry also said in a statement Monday that Alfano told Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida that Italy and the European Union were monitoring tensions in the East China Sea and "the implications for global commerce, security and stability."

The two ministers agreed that Russia needs to be involved in any solution to crisis in Syria.

Alfano says Italy's G-7 presidency is linked to that of predecessor Japan's in terms of "social, economic and environmental well-being, and security."

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6:50 p.m.

Dozens of protesters have clashed with police near a G-7 foreign ministers' meeting in Lucca, Italy.

Scuffles erupted as marchers chanting "Police go away" were stopped at the Tuscan city's medieval walls by a line of police wielding riot shields.

The two-day G-7 meeting of top diplomats from Italy, the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Japan is taking place under tight security in the historic city center.

The clashes involved a small group among several hundred peaceful protesters.

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6:15 p.m.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano has discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone phone call with his Iranian counterpart.

Italy's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif repeated Tehran's condemnation of the "unacceptable use of chemical weapons" in a Syrian town last week.

The statement says Alfano urged Iran to use its influence with the Syrian regime "to avoid new attacks, completely eliminate chemical weapons and assure a cease-fire."

According to Italy's ministry, the two men agreed to continue their conversation with "a common goal of preventing an escalation of violence" and relaunching a political process for stabilizing Syria.

Diplomats from the Mideast, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, are scheduled to discuss Syria on the sidelines of the G-7 foreign ministers meeting in Italy on Tuesday.

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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.

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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.

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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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