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Russia to initiate UN SC meeting on terrorism in Middle East — Churkin

June 13, 2014, 11:26 UTC+3 UN
Russia's Ambassador to the UN says the recent developments in Iraq cleraly show the war on terrorism is not over
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/JASON SZENES

THE UNITED NATIONS, June 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia plans to organize a meeting of the UN Security Council (SC) on terrorism in the Middle East, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said on Friday following a meeting at the SC on the situation in Iraq.

“Clearly, the war on terrorism is not over,” he said. “Neither do terrorists agree the war is over. They continue fighting and even become more active.”

Under the current conditions, the Russian delegation has suggested organizing a briefing, which would feature the UN Secretariat, “to offer a wider view on the problem of the terrorist activities in the Middle East.”

“I hope we shall organize the meeting next week,” Churkin said.

 

Deteriorating crisis in the Middle East

On Thursday, the Security Council discussed possible regional consequences from the situation in Iraq, where the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) group linked to al-Qaeda had been active, the diplomat said.

“We should have a fresh view on the situation, which, in my opinion, should also affect our views on the settlement of the situation in Syria,” said Churkin, who chairs the SC in June.

While analyzing reasons of the crisis in Iraq, the diplomat said they came from the events of 2003, when the US brought the troops into the country to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime. “In reality, the events of 2003 were not a mere attempt to overthrow the dictator, but an attempt to change entirely the country’s structure, which, experts say, had existed for almost a millennium. The structural change has not been completed by the moment the US withdrew the troops (by late 2011),” the Russian diplomat said.

 

Militants launch offensive in Iraq

On Wednesday, June 11, militants from the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is operating in Iraq and Syria, have taken control of Mosul, the second largest Iraqi city and one of the major transport hubs, and captured several Turkish diplomats. They also threatened to attack Baghdad.

The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concern about militants’ activities. “According to reports, armed gangs of militants from the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is operating in Iraq and Syria, have taken control of Mosul, the second largest Iraqi city and one of the major transport hubs. Numerous casualties have been reported, and hundreds of thousands of refugees leave their homes and head to the Kurdish and central parts of the country. Extremists have seized a considerable number of weapons and military hardware,” the ministry said.

Militants also seized prisons, releasing their inmates, including those who were sentenced for terrorist activities. “There is information indicating that terrorists are trying to expand further the area under their control in Iraq,” the ministry said.

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