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Russia’s Lavrov Reiterates Need for International Anti-Terror Coalition

Jan. 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—Speaking today in Moscow at the opening session of a ministerial-level meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underscored the need for a "truly universal counter-terror coalition" as originally proposed by President Vladimir Putin at the 2015 meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Referencing the "complex" international situation, Lavrov pointed out that the "unprecedented" growth of terrorist activities is of great concern, as they has become "the main threat to global stability." Terrorist attacks occurring all over the world, including the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, "prove this alarming and dangerous trend." But, he added, they "have strengthened the perception that there is no alternative" to the kind of international cooperation proposed by the Russian President.

In this context, as reported by the Foreign Ministry, Lavrov said that much of what happens in global affairs

"will depend on our relations with the leading Western countries, above all with the new U.S. administration. We would like to hope that our partners will abandon their lopsided and mercenary attitude toward the key international issues. We have taken note of Donald Trump’s election statements, including on readiness and resolve for a joint fight against ISIS. As President Putin said more than once, Russia is ready to cover its part of the way towards resuming constructive dialogue with Washington, primarily in order to find effective responses to terrorism and many other global challenges."

Reuters reported today that Lavrov expressed the hope that the new Trump administration would send a Mideast expert to participate in the Jan. 23 Syria talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. The State Department has acknowledged receiving an invitation, but spokesman Adm. Kirby said on Jan. 19 that it would be up to the new administration to decide to send someone.

Lavrov told Sputnik that progress toward settling the Syrian conflict is encouraging, as it is generally agreed there is no option but a political-diplomatic settlement. The upcoming Astana meeting will provide "important input," he said,

"offering paramaters for a comprehensive political settlement in Syria, which will continue at the wider talks in Geneva in early February."