Russia urges co-ordinated terrorism fight as airstrikes on Syria begin

Published: Thursday 1st October 2015 by The News Editor

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Russia followed its launch of airstrikes in Syria with a call for the world to unite in the fight against terrorist groups.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was circulating a draft UN Security Council resolution to help make it happen.

US s ecretary of state John Kerry responded by announcing that the United States is prepared to welcome Russia’s actions in Syria if they are directed at the Islamic State (IS) group and al Qaida.

Mr Kerry promised that the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria would “dramatically accelerate our efforts”.

Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem told the council his country strongly endorses Russia’s latest moves and called French and other airstrikes in Syria that are not co-ordinated with his government a “blatant contravention” of international law.

Foreign minister Javad Zarif of Iran, Syria’s closest ally, noted that the US-led coalition was “failing to achieve its goals”.

Russia spoke a day after US president Barack Obama made his own pitch on countering the threat of the IS and other groups to a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

With Mr Obama gone, it was the turn of Russia, which this month holds the presidency of the Security Council, the UN’s most powerful body.

The Russian draft, obtained by The Associated Press, calls on states to “co-ordinate their activities with the consent of the states in the territories of which such activities are conducted”.

The language, a reference to Syria’s government, is similar to that included in an earlier draft council statement that Russia pursued in recent weeks but the US refused to negotiate.

Mr Lavrov said Russia is ready to “forge standing channels of communication to ensure a maximally effective fight”.

He listed countries with a key role to play in resolving the chaos in Syria, including Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the US and even China.

“What we require are collective agreed approaches backed by Security Council,” he said.

Published: Thursday 1st October 2015 by The News Editor

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