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Challenge posed to international community by Islamic State unprecedented — Putin

February 09, 2015, 7:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia advocates the consolidation of efforts taken by the international community to fight terrorism, the Russian president said

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MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Islamic State poses a great threat to the global community.

"The challenge posed to the international community by the Islamic State terrorist group is unprecedented. In essence, the terrorists are trying to gain control over a huge part of Iraq and Syria with a population of nearly 10 million," Putin said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram on the eve of his visit to Cairo.

"And they already threaten countries which are far from the Middle East region. We have witnessed this in France, Australia, and Canada," he said. Today’s developments in Syria and Iraq stem, among other things, from a heavy-handed and irresponsible interference from the outside into the affairs of the region and unilateral use of force, ‘double standards’, and differentiating between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists."

"Regrettably, we must note that the actions being undertaken today by the members of the anti-terror coalition, their strategy and tactics are disproportionate to the scale and nature of the existing threat. Airstrikes alone are not enough to deal with it," Putin said.

"What is more, such actions lack legitimacy since they were not directly sanctioned by the UN Security Council and in certain cases are taken without the consent of states whose territories are being targeted by strikes. Unlike Iraq, where the fight against terrorism is conducted in cooperation with the officials in Baghdad, in Syria the coalition refuses to work together with the legitimate authorities," he said.

"Russia advocates the consolidation of efforts taken by the international community to fight terrorism on the basis of international law and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. We are interested in developing relevant cooperation with friendly Egypt, both at bilateral and international level," Putin said.

"The more so since both our countries have been repeatedly attacked by terrorists," he said.

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