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Lavrov: IS has created extremist quasi-state in Iraq and Syria

The terrorist group calling itself Islamic State has created what in fact is an extremist quasi-state on vast territories in Iraq and Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting of the UN Security Council's session entitled Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Settlement of Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and Countering the Terrorist Threat in the Region.

"Rampage by Jabhat al-Nusra and Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb countries, the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda, Somalia's Al Shabaab and Boko Haram and other groups have paled into insignificance against the expansion of the so-called Islamic State. On vast territories of Iraq and Syria the IS has in fact created an extremist quasi state having a well-oiled repressive machinery, stable sources of incomes, well-equipped army and elements of weapons of mass destruction. IS cells are establishing themselves in Libya, Afghanistan and other countries and openly declaring they have plans for seizing Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem and spreading their ominous activities to Europe, Central and Southeast Asia and Russia," Lavrov said.

"The terrorists have been carrying out mass executions and atrocities. They jeopardize the very existence of various ethnic and confessional groups, including Christians, Kurds and Alawites. The IS has a professional propaganda machinery operating in a dozen languages," Lavrov said.

Fighting extremism behind the back of governments inadmissible

Fight against extremism in concrete countries over the head of their governments is inadmissible, it must be based on international law, Russian Foreign Minister went on to say.

"We believe it is as a matter of fundamental importance to see the initiative advanced in this sphere at the moment basing on a strong foundation of international law, respect for sovereignty and equality of the states, inadmissibility of interference in internal affairs," the foreign minister said.

"It is impossible to promote slogans of fight against extremism in concrete countries behind the back of their legitimate governments. We have already seen such attempts, and nothing good came of them as you know well," Lavrov added.

Comprehensive approach to terrorism in Middle East needed

Problems of terrorism in the Middle East require a comprehensive approach while the attempts to cure separate conflicts independently are doomed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov continued.

"It was exactly a year ago that Russia raised the issue of a UN-sponsored all-round analysis of the problems related to a sharp surge of terrorism and extremism in the Middle East and North Africa," Lavrov said. "But over the past twelve months the situation degenerated further."

"Accumulation of the crisis potential has approached a line beyond which we would have to talk about the meltdown of the region's political map that took shape decades ago," he said.

"One can state with assuredness today the attempts to tackle separate conflicts in an isolated way, without putting them into regional and historical contexts are doomed," Lavrov said. "Iraq received this kind of treatment sometime in the past and then came Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria and every time we tried to convince each other that everything would be in the proper places once we resolved a particular well-specified problem."

Along with it, Lavrov said solutions were most typically sought in a change of one or another regime at whatever price. "Little thought was given to the aftermaths and there was no all-embracing strategy or even short-term vision of two or three steps ahead," he said.

"As a result, the euphoria that filled many heads after the 'Arab spring' gave way to the horrors of a brisk spread of chaos, an escalation of violence, the shadow of religious wars looming over the region and, last but not least, an unprecedented terrorist threat," Lavrov said.

[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 30Sep15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 01Oct15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.