Lavrov: Any step for combating terrorism must comply with international law

New York, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that any step taken to combat terrorism on the international level, including the use for force, must comply with international law and receive the approval of the relevant countries.

In a press conference held on Friday on the sideline of the UN General Assembly meeting, Lavrov affirmed the need to coordinate with the Syrian government regarding counterterrorism, even if this comes late, because excluding the Syrian government from counterterrorism efforts in its territories violates international law and reduces the effectiveness of any steps in this regard.

He said that internal disputes must be resolved via dialogue without attempting to impose scenarios from foreign sides, asserting that Russia combats terrorism consistently and continuously, with Russia helping Middle East countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Egypt in this regard by exporting weapons to them and helping boost their defensive capabilities.

Lavrov said that holding the Syrian leadership responsible for what is happening is wrong, oversimplifies matters, and lacks professionalism, noting that the Syrian government had always voiced readiness to hold talks with the “opposition” to reach a solution for the crisis, but this so-called opposition always rejected any dialogue or solution.

The Minister called for establishing a communication group on Syria that includes Iran, noting that excluding Iran from the Geneva conference didn’t help resolve the crisis in Syria.

Earlier, Lavrov discussed on Friday with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) means of finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

RT website quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that the two sides discussed during the meeting enhancing cooperation prospects between Russia and the GCC countries.

Hazem Sabbagh

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