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Berlusconi: Russia-initiated international coalition is only way to combat terrorism

February 19, 2016, 14:54 UTC+3 ROME

According to the former Italian prime minister, this coalition should comprise "all civilized nations" — the United States, Russia, China, Turkey, the EU member-countries and some Arab states

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Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi


ROME, February 19. /TASS/. The only effective way of waging war against terrorism is the UN-brokered international coalition proposed by Russia, former Italian Prime Minister and leader of the Forza Italia (Forward Italy) political party Silvio Berlusconi said in an interview published by the Il Tempo daily on Friday.

"To defeat terrorism, there is the only solution proposed by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin — the international coalition under UN auspices. Only it [this coalition] is capable of eradicating the Islamic State [IS terrorist group outlawed in Russia — TASS]," Berlusconi said.

According to him, this coalition should comprise "all civilized nations" — the United States, Russia, China, Turkey, the EU member-countries and some Arab states. "The EU should promote this large coalition, because it is most interested in it. However, Europe, instead of cooperating with Russia, tried to isolate it imposing absurd economic sanctions, which hit the economies of Italy and Europe," Berlusconi said.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations (banned in Russia) on September 30, 2015, at the request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries. Russia’s aircraft have made thousands of sorties since the beginning of the operation in Syria. Russia has repeatedly said it does not plan to take part in any ground operations in Syria.

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