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Putin urges new Marshall Plan for Middle East to see recovery and growth

October 27, 2016, 18:30 UTC+3

The Russian leader is concerned over the growing global terror threat and warns that extremists are stronger and smarter than those who are flirting with them

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, October 27. /TASS/. The Middle East needs a present-day edition of the Marshall Plan to see recovery and growth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"It has been said more than once that this evil [terrorism] can be defeated only through polled effort of all world countries. Russia has offered that and is offering it to all of its partners," Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai international discussion club. "Colossal damage requires a long-term and all-round program, a kind of the Marshall Plan to revive this war- and conflict-torn region."

Putin called to pull efforts to counter terrorism and to do it not just in words. He reminded that it has been said more than once that this evil could be defeated only through consolidated effort of all the countries of the world. The Russian leader stressed that the international agenda should feature the issue of restoring statehood, economy and the social sphere of the Middle East countries.

Russia is ready to take an active part in such joint efforts, Putin added.

Russia plans no military intervention to any of the Middle East countries, he stressed.

"We plan nothing of the kind," Putin vowed answer a question at a meeting of the Valdai international discussion club.

Terrorists stronger, smarter than those flirting with them

The Russian leader is concerned over the growing global terror threat and warns that extremists are stronger and smarter than those who are flirting with them.

Putin said some countries’ attempts to use terrorists in their political interests were "a very dangerous game."

"I would like to address these players once again: in this case the extremists are smarter and stronger than you and flirting with them you are bound to lose," Putin stressed.

"Terrorist attacks carried out in recent years in Boston and other US cities, in Paris, in Brussels, in Nice, in German cities and unfortunately in our country as well show that terrorists need no groups or organized structures," Putin said.

"They are capable of acting alone, autonomously and all they need is an ideological motivation to be guided against their enemy, who is we are all," the Russian president said.

"Some believe that they [terrorists] can be directed and then, as they say, we’ll deal with them. But nothing will come out of this then," Putin said at a session of the Valdai international discussion club.

The Russian president stressed that the forces influencing terrorists have long "started to instruct them against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad."

The Russian leader shared the grief over citizens killed in Aleppo.

Putin also urged "the bells to ring" for those left dead in the Iraqi city of Mosul and the victims of air strikes in Afghanistan where whole wedding parties had been killed.

"The bells should ring for all these innocent victims," the Russian leader said.

There are two scenarios in Aleppo: either to leave a terrorists’ nest there or crush the militants entrenched there, Putin said.

"If nothing need be done, then it is not necessary to advance on Mosul either," the Russian president said. "Let us all leave as it is?

Most countries, including Israel, are fighting with terrorists staying in their cities to the end, Putin said.

"There is no other choice, it is necessary to struggle. If we constantly surrender positions, we’ll always be losing," Putin said.

Putin regrets that some forces in Washington disrupted his agreement with Obama on Syria

Vladimir Putin regrets that his personal agreements with President Barack Obama on Syria have failed to work and that some forces in Washington have disrupted those plans.

 "We have not succeeded in stopping the bloodshed and launching a political process in Syria. It seemed that after long negotiations, enormous efforts and complicated compromises a united front for the struggle against terrorism started taking shape," Putin said.

"However, that did not happen. It (the front) has not been created," the Russian president added.

"My personal agreements with the US president did not work either. Some forces in Washington did everything to prevent the implementation of those agreements," President Putin emphasized.

The president believes that all this "is demonstrating the unexplainable and irrational desire of western countries to repeat their mistakes again and again or, as a saying goes, ‘walk into the same water twice’."

"All of us can see what’s happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and a number of other countries. I am asking myself a question: where are the results of struggle against terrorism and extremism? Fundamental results on a global scale? Some results can be seen in separate places in regions but globally there have been no results in the struggle against terrorism," Putin said adding that terrorist threats were growing

"They [the United States] admitted that part of Aleppo is controlled by terrorist organizations - Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State [both outlawed in Russia]. It can be seen in television reports - Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State flags are flying in certain Aleppo’s districts," Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai international discussion club.

The United States, in his words, recognized the necessity to separate these terrorists from the opposition. "And they promised us to do that. Then, we agreed to begin together and will establish on the ground where the healthy opposition is which is to be spared and where terrorists are - and we will work on these terrorists together with our American partners," Putin said.

Such promises have been given more than once, including by U.S. President Barack Obama. "This issue was last raised at our meeting in China [in early September]. And my American counterpart, President Obama, once again promised to separate them," the Russian leader said. "But the fact is as follows: instead of separating terrorists from the healthy opposition, our American partners have broken down this truce," he said.

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