Lavrov: Moscow will counter any attempts to justify terrorists

MOSCOW, (ST)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reaffirmed the need to eliminate terrorism in Syria's Idleb, pointing out that Turkey hasn't implemented its obligations pursuant to the Sochi agreement, but it should do so.

In a press conference on Monday with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirodjiddin Muhriddin, Lavrov said that the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization, which has been called so by the UN Security Council, has wide presence in Idleb and its terrorists have launched attacks against civilians in neighboring areas as well as against the positions of the Syrian army and the Russian Hmeimin airbase from the areas where Turkish observation points are located.

Russia’s top diplomat also said that Moscow and Ankara are preparing a new series of consultations on the situation in Syria’s Idlib.

He stressed that Moscow will counter any attempts to justify terrorists,  pointing out that Turkey should implement its obligations according to Sochi agreement and that the terrorists are excluded from any agreement.

He expected that the consultations will lead to ending the terrorists' control in Idleb and anywhere else.

The Sochi agreement was signed between Russia and Turkey. It calls for continuing the fight against all forms of terrorism in Syria and it is part of previous agreements on de-escalation zones which resulted from Astana process since the beginning of 2017 and which were based on respecting Syria's sovereignty, territorial integrity and liberating the Syrian lands from terrorism and from any foreign illegal military presence.  

Lavrov voiced concern about the support of western countries, mainly the United States, for Jabhat al-Nusra, stressing that this support aims at achieving these countries' geopolitical agendas in Syria.

This is completely rejected and the war on terrorism in Syria and any part of the world must continue, according to Lavrov.

Hamda Mustafa