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UNITED NATIONS, December 31. /TASS/. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a wrong step, which provoked interfaith enmity and paved the way for emergence of the Islamic State (IS, terrorist group outlawed in Russia), President of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft has told TASS.
«We cannot exclude to say that the invasion in Iraq in 2003 for many reasons, I think, like [US] President [Barack] Obama also says, it was a wrong decision to make that invasion. But it was even more dangerous that those who took that decision didn’t have any clear idea what they got in their possession and didn’t have any clear ideas how to avoid it producing even more conflicts internally in that country which has been breeding ground also for Daesh taking over parts of Iraq," he said.
According to him, It was necessary to seek a more democratic and inclusive society in Iraq as well as an agreement that would protect the interests of minorities. Lykketoft noted that Iraq’s unfortunate experience had to be taken into consideration while resolving the conflict in Syria. According to the plan endorsed by the UN Security Council, in January Damascus and the opposition will sit down at the negotiating table, and the talks will be followed by the formation of the transitional government, the Constitutional reform and elections, he noted.
"Well, yes, there will be elections, but before the elections there should be a constitutional framework that makes it possible for the Christians, the Alawites, the Druze, the Kurds inside Syria to feel that they are protected, that any election will not be a majority suppressing minorities," Lykketoft said. "So that is the point which was not observed in the right way in development in Iraq and has been part of the recent increase of the number of conflicts (in the region)."
He noted that the United Nations should pay as much attention as possible to the protection of minorities in Iraq and Syria. "We have to deal with it in any future United Nations involvement in creating and maintaining peace. Otherwise you will have ongoing civil wars for a very long time and with big international implications."
Mogens Lykketoft voiced confidence that the key international players were more aware of the need to end the conflict in Syria that has raged since 2011 and claimed the lives of at least 250,000 people. "I sincerely hope that the Security Council resolution of December 18 would be followed up by actions on the ground: ending the war, starting the political process and concentrating on outside involvement on containing and destroying Daesh," he said.