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Putin: Middle East settlement possible only with effective cooperation of all countries

The Russian president stresses the initiative to form a broad front to combat terrorism should be implemented

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced confidence that it will be possible to resolve the situation in the Middle East through effective cooperation between all countries interested in that. However, so far there has been no such interaction.

"Today it is clear that the necessary condition for bringing the situation in the Middle East back to normal is effective cooperation between all interested and influential international players," he told the Primakov Readings forum. "In accordance with this logic, the initiative to form a broad front to combat terrorism put forward by us should be implemented. Unfortunately, such a front has not been formed yet."

"However, there is no alternative to it," the head of state stressed.

Putin recalled that prominent Russian diplomat and politician Yevgeny Primakov warned that the consequences of revolutions in the Middle East would be devastating. "During the so-called Arab Spring Yevgeny Maksimovich warned that toppling secular regimes in the Middle East could lead to a catastrophe. Primakov’s words turned out to be true, one may say, unfortunately," he said. "Unfortunately, the Middle East was plunged into a series of bloody conflicts turning into a hotbed of terror and religious extremism."

Putin has noted the role the country’s former prime minister had played in achieving the recognition the monopolar world is not viable and in advancing the idea of Russia’s tight cooperation with China and India.

"In the wake of the Soviet Union’s breakup and the end of the Cold War a very different, monopolar world order started taking shape. Primakov had a truly strategic vision that enabled him to look into the future and see how unviable and lopsided the monopolar model was," Putin said.

Also, Putin recalled that Primakov was the one who authored the idea of tight interaction within the strategic triangle of Russia, China and India.

"At first, such a proposal was perceived as something utopian. Some in this country even said that it was a bad idea. But these days we are witnesses to the growing strength of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) - an association that originally emerged in a trilateral format."

Putin looked back on the days when Primakov was appointed the head of government amid the grave crisis of 1998, when production slumped, unemployment soared, wage arrears snowballed and the economy slid into recession.

"Few believed then that Russia would be able to carry on and eventually achieve a growth trajectory. But let us take a look at the rates of the country’s development that followed. Russia ensured the crucial high economic growth rates. It shrugged off the debt burden and accumulated considerable reserves. And it has been building an advanced, socially-oriented economy since," Putin said, adding that Primakov remained involved in addressing economic policy matters after he left the government to lead the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Putin recalled Primakov’s achievements in the capacity of director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service SVR. He said "Primakov had always sought to act as a realist and a pragmatic."

"He proceeded from the understanding that diplomacy is the skill of achieving what is possible and that compromises and respect for the partner’s stance should be invariably sought," he said.

Primakov was one of the first to have come out with a proposal for settling the Iranian nuclear problem.

"You and me know very well the role of each participant, the diplomatic services and secret services in this intricate process. We remain aware of that role and we do not exaggerate anything here, but Primakov was one of the first to come up with the idea of a peace settlement of this issue," Putin he said.