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IS problem needs international consensus, not unilateral action — Russia PM

October 15, 2014, 13:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The mandate for counter-terrorism operations must be obtained in accordance with international law, that is, with the UN Charter, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says
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Smoke rise after US-led coalition airstrike on Kobane, Syria

Smoke rise after US-led coalition airstrike on Kobane, Syria

© EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

Infographics Fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq Fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq
US-led coalition continues to deliver air strikes at positions of IS militants and infrastructure facilities in Syria. Government forces contain militants on approaches to Baghdad in Iraq.

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday Russia has never backed off from counter-terrorism effort and is convinced that countering the rise of the Islamic State (IS) group needs an international consensus.

“The point is for all decisions on combating terrorist activities to be based on international consensus. Not on a decision taken by one country, even a highly respected one, but international consensus,” Medvedev said in an interview with the CNBC TV channel, answering a question on Russia’s stance on the IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Medvedev said the United States went beyond insisting on Syrian President Bashar Assad leaving office, but in fact is “trying to establish separate contacts within the leadership of the Syrian Republic.” “We’ve never backed off from counter-terrorism cooperation, and we have examples of successful cooperation. However, the mandate for counter-terrorism operations must be obtained in accordance with international law, that is, the UN Charter, and on the basis of a consensus,” he said. “It’s always bad when it is done on the basis of decisions taken by individual governments, even if they have good intentions,” Medvedev said.

This has happened on many occasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is happening now in Syria, he said. “And there may be only one legitimate question: if this kind of action is really needed, then it’s essential to achieve a common position and get the go-ahead from the legitimate government of Syria,” Medvedev said.

The Russian prime minister said the central government of Syria is the “sole bearer of the sovereignty of the Syrian people” and this “needs to be kept in mind when discussing any kind of action.” “The Syrians have a very multi-layered society composed of people of different faiths, including Alawites, Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, and Christians. They all need to sit down and try to come to terms. I’m not talking about the terrorist groups, I’m talking about achieving a solution to the Syrian problem in general,” he said.

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