Damascus, SANA – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday the US is required to take serious steps to fight the terrorism threatening the entire Middle East region.
Addressing the reporters in a press conference in Damascus, Ryabkov said terrorism is by no means justified and must be combated and eliminated regardless of whatever circumstances or names it may come under.
He warned that the wave of terror sweeping the region has started to threaten the bases of states in a number of countries, calling for further efforts, a very strong position and integral measures against this terrorism.
The U.S. and European authorities must determine their priorities and principles in the policies they follow in each of Iraq and Syria.
“You must not deal with terrorists and not work to destabilize the bases in the region’s countries which are already suffering from a big number of crises…you must also show responsibility,” said Ryabkov, addressing the funders of the so-called “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
He noted that those concerned by this talk will understand this message because “Russia will not stand idly towards the terrorist groups’ attempts to spread terrorism in the region’s countries, including Syria, Iraq and others.”
Indifference about confronting “this dangerous challenge” hitting Iraq and the region is “not permissible”, said Ryabkov, reiterating Russia’s rejection of terrorism.
Commenting on the process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons, the Russian official hailed the Syrian government for “showing a great deal of openness” to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He stressed that the process has been accomplished on time-and even before schedules in some cases- congratulating the Syrian people on “this success”.
Ryabkov called upon “all those who have not yet grasped that and continue to look for pretexts to exert pressure on the Syrian government” to look at what was achieved realistically and take the appropriate lessons.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that while Syria has had its chemical weapons eliminated, yet “it has not found itself without arms against challenges from the outside or the inside.”
He rejected as “unacceptable” the policies which aim at stoking tension and creating excuses to inflame military confrontations through repeated reports on alleged new cases of chemical weapons use in Syria.
Meanwhile, Ryabkov sent a strong message of support to the Syrian people, saying that “Russia will not allow the tragedy of the Syrian people to be compromised.”
Asked whether Israel should be pressured into destroying its nuclear arsenal, the Russian official said Russia has always lobbied for the Chemical Weapons Convention to become more inclusive so as to include the largest numbers of countries
“Our stated position is that it is high time for Israel to take a responsible stand by joining the CWC, knowing that Israel has joined but did not ratify the Convention,” he added, saying that Russia is currently working with the international community for convening a conference about making the Middle East a WMD-free region.
Ryabkov cited a need for drastic measures against terrorism, radicalization and recruitment of foreign fighters, urging the world countries to stem the flow of fighters and weapons into Syria.
He affirmed that there is no alternative to a political process for the resolution of the crisis, hoping that Syria will overcome all obstacles and remain a united and prosperous country.
Speaking to journalists following the press conference, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad described Ryabkov’s visit as “highly important”, pointing to a “strategic and deep convergence in the two countries’ views regarding all developments in the region and their readiness to counter and uproot terrorism.”
In reply to a question as whether there is an international drive against terrorism, Mikdad said there is no such thing as “clean terrorism and dirty terrorism”. “Terrorism all over the world is one and the same,” he affirmed.
“Those who draw a line between moderate terrorism and non-moderate terrorism are at fault,” Mikdad said. “This kind of talk shows that they are in cahoots with terrorism which will prove detrimental to the region and the world were the US and European rationale to remain the same” he said.
H. Said/M. Ismael