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Talk about truce with terrorists in Idlib means surrender — Lavrov

Russia's top diplomat expressed serious concern about attempts to use religion in geopolitical games

GENEVA, February 25. /TASS/. All the talk about a possible truce with terrorists active in the Syrian province of Idlib means surrendering to them and encouraging them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.

According to him, the international community and the Human Rights Council need to create a barrier against extremists because some forces tend to justify the atrocities of radical and terrorist groups. "Otherwise it is hard to explain their statements about a possible truce with bandits, which are made during discussions of the situation in Idlib," Lavrov pointed out. "It has nothing to do with concerns about human rights, it is a surrender to terrorists, which would encourage them to continue blatantly violating universal conventions and numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions," the Russian top diplomat added.

Lavrov expressed serious concern about attempts to use religion in geopolitical games. "Religious divisions are growing, sacred sites are desecrated in various parts of the world in increasing numbers. Believers and priests are attacked, persecuted and killed," he specified. "The number of Christians has dropped in many Middle Eastern countries or even disappeared, while it is the land where Christians lived for centuries," the Russian foreign minister emphasized.

Idlib tensions

The situation in the Syrian province of Idlib escalated in early February after the Russian and Turkish militaries had made another attempt to ensure a ceasefire. In response, terrorists scaled up attacks. The Syrian army took action against extremists.

Lavrov said earlier that Moscow would "strongly oppose" attempts to justify the activities of terrorists.