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Assad’s resignation will not solve migrant crisis in Europe — Russian Foreign Ministry

September 10, 2015, 8:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Moscow needs Europe strong as it's Russia's "organic partner"

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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Natalya Garnelis/TASS

MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Resignation of Syria’s President Bashar Assad will not solve the current migrant crisis in Europe, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharov told the Rossiya-1 television channel on Thursday.

"The roots [of the migrant crisis - TASS] lie in the Middle East conflicts. And everyone understands too well that Assad is not the problem. It is now the most enticing topic to build up propaganda effect around that should Assad step down the influx of migrants will stop," she said, commenting on Fox News’ statements accusing Russia of support to Bashar Assad’s policy.

"The fight against the ‘universal evil’ personified by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi brought about no positive results," she reminded. "Yes, the ‘universal evil’ in the person of Gaddafi exists no longer, but the country has ceased to exist too… The territory is simply in the hands of international terrorism and is used by it as a stronghold. Now a question to those who believes that the situation is to change as soon as Assad steps down - what will be after that?"

She said the Western mass media needed an illusory enemy to produce an appearance of fighting against and migrants had just thrust the problems of the region into the spotlight. "For instance, terrorism growth as a consequence of endless change of regimes in bypassing of the international law," she said.

The spokeswoman noted that Russia was concerned over the situation in Europe no less than the European Union. "Europe is our organic partner. We need it strong but not weakened. We want to see it strong from the point of view of strategy, economic and humanitarian ties," she underscored.

Talks with Damascus on anti-IS efforts is key task

According to Zakharova, the Syrian army is the only force standing in the way of Islamic State.

In this connection, she said, the Russian foreign ministry drew attention to the statement by Austria’s foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz. "I also took notice of Mr. Kurz’s words, who said it openly that it was high time to begin to speak with Damascus about joint efforts against Islamic State," Zakharova said. "It is a keystone statement because the only, so to say, real force on the Earth that is fighting against Islamic State is the Syrian army, and the army of Iraq. And there is no denying this fact."

On September 8, Sebastian Kurz told journalists while on a visit to Teheran that the West must enroll support from Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as from Iran and Russia to repel the terrorist group Islamic State.

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