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Lavrov: Global antiterrorist effort should be based on international law

Russia supports its Western partners' desire to defeat international terrorism, but antiterrorist efforts should be based on the principles of international law, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a briefing Monday.

"The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Islamic State should be fought not only in Iraq but also in Syria where that organization comes from," Lavrov said. "We support that. We should be united by the desire to defeat international terrorism and prevent [terrorists] from occupying new territories and establishing terrorist states."

The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is a terrorist organization. It recently posted a shocking video clip on the web where its militant apparently beheads American journalist James Foley.

"But when we fight terrorism, we need to do that on the basis of international law, including respect for the sovereignty of relevant states," Lavrov said.

"There were reports that US drones' strikes on IS positions are carried out with consent of the Iraqi government. If there are plans to fight terrorists in Syria and other states, then it is necessary to do that in cooperation with their legitimate governments. Otherwise, we will sow chaos," he said.

Lavrov recalled that a document was unanimously adopted at one of the previous G8 summits, which stated that the global leaders call on Syria's government and opposition leaders to unite efforts to fight terrorists and expel them from the country.

"We actively supported such an approach, but it is regrettable that it took over a year to start thinking of how to materialize the idea," he said.

With the start of the Arab Spring, Russia's top diplomat said, Russia proposed to its Western and regional partners working jointly, "on the basis of mutually coordinated approaches."

"We suggested being guided by the unity of our views regarding the necessity to wage a tough fight against international terrorism," Lavrov said, adding that Western partners of Russia agreed to pursue the goal in word but "became guided by political expediency considerations" in deed.

Fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

The first two rounds of an international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, brought no particular progress in January and February. The parties to the Syrian conflict agreed to continue their discussions.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 25Aug14]

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