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Russia's top diplomat vows Islamic State will be defeated

It is challenging to fight the IS as long as external players are still protecting Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, Lavrov stated

DVORIKI VILLAGE /Vladimir region/, August 11. /TASS/. The Islamic State terror group (IS, outlawed in Russia) will undoubtedly be defeated but it is hard to say yet when it will happen, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with participants in the national Educational Youth Forum dubbed Terra Scientia on Klyazma River.

"There are a lot of signs that some external players have been protecting the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia), while the US has been silently encouraging them," Lavrov said.

"At least, I don’t remember the US-led coalition, that has been conducting attacks on the IS, carry out any significant operations against Jabhat al-Nusra," he added.

"There is a suspicion that it is being protected so that it could be used after the IS faces a full defeat - and no one should doubt that it will happen though it is hard to say when," the Russian top diplomat pointed out. According to him, there may be plans to start using the Jabhat al-Nusra group to fight against the Syrian government in order to change the regime.

Russia-US cooperation on Syria 

Sergey Lavrov has called contacts between Russian and US diplomats and military on Syria highly-professional and pragmatic:

"I’m open to any partners. The main thing is that we should not just continue talking, but start coming to agreements, the way it happened regarding the establishment of the de-escalation zone in south-western Syria," he said.

"The way such working, professional and pragmatic contacts that meet the mutual interests continue among the diplomats and the military."

"Such contacts are important in the fight against terrorism, as well as for contributing to the political process and creating a space for the Syrian government and the opposition to sit down and start discussing the future of their country without any outside intervention," the minister noted.