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Italy’s former top diplomat: Russian operation in Syria 'of crucial importance'

September 30, 2016, 18:35 UTC+3 ROME

Italy’s former top diplomat says Russia’s air operation was of crucial importance for rebuffing terrorist organizations Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

ROME, September 30. /TASS/. Russia’s air operation in Syria was of crucial importance for rebuffing terrorist organizations Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia), Franco Frattini, Italy’s former foreign minister and president of the Italian Society for International Organizations (SIOI), told TASS on Friday.

"Russia’s actions in Syria were of crucial importance in combating terrorist organizations. Regrettably, Western countries demonstrated no such resoluteness. The Americans have opted not to attack al-Nusra, although they should have done it," he said.

"The Americans began to show increased activity in Syria only after Russia’s interference, because they did not want to lag behind Russia in anti-terrorism efforts," Frattini said.

He said he is confident Russia "has implemented the task of rebuffing terrorists perfectly well."

"The ceasefire deal reached by Russia and the United States must not be challenged. The ceasefire covers the civilian population but should not be applicable to terrorists who are conducting the war killing civilians," the former minister said.

According to Frattini, a serious investigation is needed into the attack on a humanitarian convoy near Aleppo. "It is inadmissible to accuse anyone without proof," he stressed.

Frattini is President of the Institute of Eurasian Studies which is implementing initiatives geared at closer strategic partnership with Russia and Eurasian countries. He said he will deliver a lecture on security in the Mediterranean region at Moscow’s Lomonosov State University on October 8. "I will speak about Syria," he added.

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