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Fight against terrorism in Syria should run parallel with political reforms — Russia FM

September 29, 2015, 9:14 UTC+3 NEW YORK
Russia calls on the United States to coordinate efforts in the fight against terrorism and hopes that Washington has heard its position
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© AP Photo/SANA, File

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The fight against terrorism in Syria should run in parallel with political reforms, though it should not be imposed from outside the country but rather come from Syrians themselves, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

In an interview with Russian television channel RT, Lavrov said: "Americans have confirmed that their absolute stance is to maintain the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria, Iraq and other countries of the region. We can cooperate on this basis."

"In other words, in short, the fight against terrorism should run in parallel with political reforms, but it should not be imposed from outside but come from inside, from Syrians themselves - the government and all oppositions groups - all of them should start a political process in the country and begin discussing their country’s future," said Lavrov.

"We will be glad to invite the patriotic Syrian opposition fighting in the country’s territory to join this coordinated battle [against Islamic State militants]," he said. "We are confident that the conflict in Syria can only be resolved through dialogue which is led by Syrians themselves and involves all Syrian groups - the government and all opposition structures."

"The main thing is to guarantee equality alongside safe and comfortable living conditions for all citizens of Syria," Lavrov added.

Russia cannot allow Syria to collapse as a state

Russia calls on the United States to coordinate efforts in the fight against terrorism and hopes that Washington has heard its position, Sergey Lavrov also said in that interview.

"Russia is helping Syria to fight against the Islamic State. We have explained our position, we do not to feel any affection to anyone in the region," Lavrov said. "But we are firmly convinced that we cannot allow Syria to collapse as a state."

"We have suggested that the US should harmonize its efforts to be sure that the air strikes on the terrorists’ positions are coordinated with the steps on the ground," the Russian foreign minister said.

"I hope that Barack Obama has heard the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin," he added.

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