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Lavrov: Gulf states favor coordinated action of Russia, US-led coalition on Syria

May 26, 2016, 12:28 UTC+3

Russia and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf stand for uncompromising struggle against terrorism

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Russian miltiary servicemen in Syria (archive)

Russian miltiary servicemen in Syria (archive)


MOSCOW, May 26./TASS/. The Gulf Arab states have come out in favor of coordinated action of Russia and the US-led coalition on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday after a session of the Russia-Gulf Cooperation Council strategic dialog.

"We’re unanimous that the threat of terrorism and extremism requires uncompromising counteraction to prevent the triumph of the plans nurtured by the IS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and similar groupings," the Russian foreign minister said.

"We once again drew partners’ attention to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to form a broad anti-terrorist front under the UN auspices, and within this context the participants in the session welcomed creation of an Islamic coalition by Saudi Arabia and came out in favor of stronger coordinated action of Russia and the US-.led coalition on fight against terrorism in Syria," the minister said.

Lavrov has pointed out that Russia and the United States have reached some progress in coordinating their operations on the battlefield in Syria but true coordination has not yet been established.

"This coordination has not yet been finally established. There is progress in coordinating actions already on the battlefield from the Syrian airspace," Lavrov said.

"But we’re moving slower than we would like to," the Russian foreign minister said.

According to the minister, the US has pledged to achieve separation of the Syrian opposition and Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) soon but this has not yet happened.

"The effectiveness of the anti-terrorist operation in Syria is hampered by the situation when many groups of the so-called patriotic opposition are territorially mixed with terrorist groups, first of all Jebhat al-Nusra," Lavrov said at the session in the format of strategic dialogue between Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). "Back in February this year, US colleagues promised us in the framework of ISSG (International Syria Support Group) and via other channels that they will soon achieve through their representatives the separation on the ground between patriotic opposition and Jebhat al-Nusra," he added.

"This has not happened so far despite the fact that the regime of cessation of hostilities came into force three months ago," the foreign minister noted. "Everyone who wanted to join the regime of cessation of hostilities has probably been able to do that many times already," he concluded.

Russia, Gulf states committed to ISSG decisions

It was also stated that Russia and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf are fully committed to the decisions by the International Syria Support Group.

"We reaffirmed our full commitment to the decisions that were made regarding the Syrian settlement within the framework of the ISSG and the UN Security Council," Lavrov said. "Under the Security Council auspices we supported the continuing process of the search for a settlement in Yemen, Libya and a number of other countries of the Middle East and northern Africa and discussed the situation in Iraq."

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh appreciated Russia’s stance on Syria. He also pointed to identical points of view over the settlement prospects in Yemen and Libya.

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