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Lavrov: West acts in the Middle East "like a bull in a china shop"

The Russian foreign minister blames the West's policy for the current developments in the region
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Alexandr Sherbak/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

KLYAZMA (Moscow Region), July 22. /TASS/. The West’s incompetent policy in the Middle East and North Africa has led to the current consequences in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"What is happening in the Middle East, North Africa is the direct result of a very incompetent and unprofessional attitude to the situation," Lavrov said.

"In their desire to keep their dominance, our Western partners acted like a bull in a china shop. In Iraq, an overthrow of the regime was announced under a false pretext," Lavrov said.

"Partners say: let’s resolve the problem of Libya, Syria and Iraq, organize elections and eradicate terrorism. They say: first it is necessary to remove Assad [Syrian President Bashar Assad] and then we’ll struggle against terrorism," Lavrov said.

"We say: Okay, we’ll urgently organize elections in Syria and Assad will be removed by way of elections. And who will guarantee that Syria won’t repeat the Libya scenario?" Lavrov noted.

After Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown, Libya plunged into chaos and separatist sentiments intensified. The central authorities do not control some regions of Libya as they are still held by Islamic radicals.

As the Russian foreign minister said, "there was an authoritarian leader there [in Libya] as well and he was disliked but there were no terrorists at all during his rule."

"And when he was removed, Libya was turned into a hotbed of terrorism and in a country, through which militants and weapons are going to the south [Africa] while those same migrants that are bothering Europe are going to the north," the Russian foreign minister said.

The Russian foreign minister cited the American proverb: "If it’s not broken, don’t fix it."

"Iraq was not broken, Libya was not broken, Syria was not broken," Lavrov said.

‘They started to fix it and they have got what is happening there now," the Russian foreign minister said.

The minister added that destroying ethno-confessional balance in Syria will be disgraceful.

The Middle East is the place "where three world religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity - have co-existed for thousands of years," he said.

"What is happening in Syria now threatens to destroy the ethno-confessional balance which has been preserved despite deadly wars," Lavrov said. 

"If we witness the disruption of this balance in our epoch, it would be a disgrace for all of us," he added.

"The number of Christians (in the Middle East) is rapidly decreasing, it has dropped significantly in Syria and Iraq," Lavrov reminded. "This tendency should be stopped. Together with our colleagues, including from the Vatican, we are holding several events to draw attention to inadmissibility of Christianophobia," he concluded.​