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MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Damascus could agree to join the international coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) should it be requested, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya-1 television channel on Sunday.
"A year ago we learned the U.S. would lead a coalition to fight IS in Iraq and Syria," he said. "Iraq's government has agreed, the Syrian government has never been requested, though, I am sure, if Damascus were approached it could agree."
He said thus it could be possible to discuss the initiative on the coalition against IS at the UN Security Council in order to give full legitimacy to it and to offer support from the international community.
"In that case, we would not have any ambiguities - who is shelling who, why and despite of whose positions," Lavrov said. "In that case we could have complete respect for the UN Charter, for the international law - all the principles, which in compliance with the UN Charter should make a basis for any force actions."
The foreign minister called weird the situation, where Syria’s President Bashar Assad was recognised by the U.S. and certain Middle East countries as a legitimate counterpart for the term of export and elimination of the chemical arsenals, but now they are taking him with clear rejection.
"Thus, it is another example of double standards - for the purposes of eliminating the chemical weapon Assad was quite a legitimate counterpart, but for fighting terrorism - for some reason - no," Lavrov said.
Moreover, he continued, continue emerging speculations about cooperation between Assad and IS.
"Common sense says it is impossible, as it is unacceptable to allow the thought someone is cooperating with an organisation, which aspires assumption of power at huge territories, not at all exclusively in the Middle East or North Africa," he said.