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MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s idea of a wide international coalition for struggle against the terrorist Islamic State, voiced at the 70th UN General Assembly session, has become the assembly’s focal issue, the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Center for International Security, Alexey Arbatov, told TASS in an interview.
"Regrettably, it will be hardly possible to unite different countries for resistance to terrorism in a coalition that would be equal in status and shape to the anti-Hitler coalition. In any case, Barack Obama has said once again that he will not recognize the legitimacy of Syria’s President Bashar Assad," Arbatov said.
As follows from Obama’s speech, the United States and the West will not support Assad, but at the current stage they are not going to undermine his positions, either. In other words, the United States and Russia will not interfere with each other’s efforts to fight against terrorism. "The possibility Assad will stay for the transitional period may become a subject matter of talks behind closed doors. Their result will depend on how effective Russia’s military-technical assistance to Syria is," Arbatov believes.
"Such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, too, will refrain from extending assistance to Syria’s government troops. As for the other Islamic countries Putin called on for help in creating an international coalition, they are on his side anyway as key partakers in the struggle against the IS. Iran, Iraq and the Syrian army are pushing ahead with the ground operation against the Islamic State, in other words, they do the bloodiest and dirtiest part of the fighting," he remarked.
"On the whole, the tone of Putin’s speech was very confident and assertive. Putin did not look at all like former Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev, who was banging on the desk at the UN General Assembly holding a shoe in his hand. Putin’s speech was strict but constructive and aimed at protecting the United Nations and preventing violations of international law and unilateral sanctions," Arbatov said.
As for US President Barack Obama’s speech, he believes that it sounded conciliatory.
"Obama was speaking in favour of a strong Russia and against another Cold War. He declared the intention to cooperate with Russia and Iran in resistance to the Islamic State," Arbatov said. "A further rapprochement of Russia and the United States is a subject matter for fundamental talks."
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