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Lavrov calls for including Syria in Friends of Syria group

August 25, 2014, 15:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Established in 2012, the group comprises Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said Syria itself should be included in the Friends of Syria group.

Established in 2012, the group comprises Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“I suggest that the Friends of Syria group should after all include Syria itself as the government of (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad is facing the threat of terrorism,” Lavrov said.

“Until recently, our Western partners in the UN Security Council refused to condemn terrorist acts in Syria. Their logic was very simple: all steps taken against al-Assad cannot be condemned because he himself incited mass riots against himself. Does that mean that terrorism can be justified?” he said.

“This negates previous decisions and UN Security Council documents that terrorism cannot be justified,” he said, adding he was hoping that Western politicians were realizing the rapidly growing threat of terrorism.

Lavrov said the West would soon have “to make a choice” and decide what was more important - to change the regime or to find pragmatic ways to join efforts for fighting the threat of terrorism. “We favor the second way,” he said.

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