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Creation of broad antiterrorist front is priority — Lavrov

November 18, 2015, 15:38 UTC+3

The top priority tasks should be mobilizing a broad front to counter the terrorist threat and the simultaneous promotion of the political process in Syria, the Russian top diplomat says

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© Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The formation of a broad front against the terrorist threat is a priority, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil on Wednesday.

"We are confident in the context of the Syrian crisis, that the top priority tasks should be mobilizing a broad front to counter the terrorist threat, above all from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, and the simultaneous promotion of the political process in Syria in accordance with the principles and those specific steps agreed upon during the meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna on 14 November," the Russian minister said.

He recalled that during the meeting, Russia and Lebanon "promoted weighted, balanced approaches, which are based on the need to respect the right of the Syrian people to determine their own destiny." "We are satisfied with the fact that this fundamental position has prevailed in the final documents of two meetings which took place in Vienna on 30 October and 14 November," Lavrov said.

The ISSG group agreed to support and work to implement a nationwide ceasefire in Syria to come into effect as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards the transition under UN auspices on the basis of the Geneva Communique. The five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council pledged to support a UNSC resolution to empower a UN-endorsed ceasefire monitoring mission in those parts of the country where monitors would not come under threat of attacks from terrorists, and to support a political transition process in accordance with the Geneva Communique.

"We also discussed the situation regarding the fight against terrorism in the wider context, not only in regard to Syria," the minister said. "IS has settled in Syria and Iraq, has taken root in other countries in the region, and loudly announced plans to create a huge caliphate in a vast area from Portugal to Pakistan, so it is our common threat, and we share the view that the UN Security Council should give a priority to the creation of a solid international legal framework to combat this evil, to mobilize a truly global coalition in response to this very hard challenge common for all of us."

"Russia will actively promote international efforts in this sphere in line with the initiative put forward by President Vladimir Putin in his speech at the opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York," Lavrov said.

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