Lavrov stresses need to form international front against terrorism

Moscow, SANA – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stressed the need to from a wide international front to fight terrorism, especially ISIS, in parallel with pushing the political process in Syria.

At a press conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil in Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov called for implementing the outcomes of Vienna meeting on Syria last Saturday which stressed that the Syrians are the ones to determine the future of their country.

The Vienna participants, Lavrov noted, approved Moscow initiative on setting a list of terrorist organizations in Syria, warning against some terrorist groups that are changing their discourse to adapt to the demands of their foreign funders and sponsors so as to look like “moderate opposition”.

He highlighted that such listing will not take long time, adding that Russia has already delivered its list and received drafts by the US and other countries.

On the elections in Syria, Lavrov hoped the political settlement will be launched next January, adding that there was nothing in Saturday’s Vienna meeting and that of October 30 that stipulated that President Bashar al-Assad cannot run for the coming presidential elections.

The Russian official said Russia has repeatedly stressed the need to form a delegation of the opposition that includes and represents all opposition forces, but some “partners” have insisted on nominating a certain group as the only representative of the opposition.

Lavrov said it is unacceptable to set preconditions for fighting terrorism, particularly ISIS that has become a global threat, which necessitates that the UN Security Council respond through forming an international coalition to address this threat.

For his part, Bassil said “I praise the positive role of Russia in combating terrorism in Syria.”

“A political resolution is the only solution for the crisis in Syria. It is what everyone agrees on,” he added.

“The Syrian people must decide their own country’s destiny. The influx of migrants to neighboring countries is a real concern and can even change the region,” stated Bassil.

M. Nassr/H. Said

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