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Russian military operation in Syria not meant to bury political process — Lavrov

October 13, 2015, 16:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the Russian top diplomat, Islamic countries should become key participants of coalition against the Islamic State terrorist organization

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MOSCOW, October 13 /TASS/. Russia’s military operation in Syria does not mean an end to political settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday as he opened negotiations with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"Our actions in Syria aimed at raising the efficiency of struggle against terrorism does not mean the political process should be buried. On the contrary, we would like to note the growing need to support your efforts. I hope to get firsthand assessments from you about your efforts and about what Russia can do to help implementing the Geneva Communique," Lavrov told de Mistura.

"Naturally, the Geneva Communique mentions one main key to success - to ensure the inclusive nature of the political process and movement towards mutual consent by all Syrians," the Russian foreign minister added.

Islamic countries should become key participants of coalition against Islamic State

Lavrov noted Russia is concerned with attempts of several partners to delay the creation of a united front against terrorism.

"We are at a critical stage in our efforts on settling the crisis. Our position was authoritatively and repeatedly outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin, including in his speeches at the UN and his contacts with representatives of the leadership of Syria’s neighboring countries," Lavrov said.

"The main thing now is to united efforts in the fight against terrorists - Islamic State and Jebhat al-Nusra. We call on everyone involved in the events in Syria to coordinate actions in order to prevent terrorist from gaining an upper hand. We are concerned with attempts by several colleagues to delay the creation of a united anti-terrorist front by speculating on our mandate," he explained.

The foreign minister said that new preconditions always emerge on the way of the political process in Syria. "At first, they said that the National Coalition should be the only representative. Then they agreed that a greater representation of the opposition forces is necessary," Lavrov noted.

"Now, when it looks like the agreement has been reached [on representation of the Syrian opposition at negotiations], they started claiming that Russian Aerospace Defense Forces’ operation carried out on the request of Damascus hurdles the political process," the foreign minister said. "I am sure that it is obvious for unbiased observers that such links are artificial," he added.

According to the Russian top diplomat, Islamic countries should become key participants of coalition against the Islamic State terrorist organization.

"We are ready to unite efforts in the fight against terrorism with all countries on the basis of international law. We proceed from the fact that Islamic countries can and should become key participants of such coalition," Lavrov said.

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