Radical groups once employed by West are main threat for Syria, Middle East — Putin

The so-called Islamic State and other radical groups were once actively employed by some Western countries which encouraged them, says the Russian president

The situation in Syria remains source of serious concern, and the activities of the Islamic State and other radical groups are the main risk of further aggravation of the situation in the country and neighboring states, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu agency ahead of his visit to Turkey.

 “The situation in Syria remains source of serious concern. And we are fully aware of the burden imposed on Turkey by the on-going violent conflict ravaging your neighbours,” Putin stressed.

“What is more, the main risk of further aggravation of the situation both in this country and in neighbouring states stems from the activities of the so-called Islamic State and other radical groups that were once actively employed by some Western countries, which flirted with them and encouraged them,” he said.

President Putin said, “from the very onset of the Syrian crisis Russian has consistently exerted efforts towards its peaceful political settlement by the Syrians themselves based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, meaning through internal dialogue without any preconditions or dictates from the outside.”

 “We believe that the rise of terrorist groups in Syria and in the Middle East in general require consolidation of all robust forces of Syrian society - consolidation for the future of Syria as a sovereign, united, secular and democratic state where equal rights for all ethnic and confessional groups are guaranteed and everyone can enjoy peace and security,” the Russian leader said.

“We will continue to do everything necessary to help the Syrian people to overcome the tragic events and find peace and harmony as soon as practicably possible. This is the purpose of our contacts with the Syrian government, various opposition groups, our international and regional partners, including, of course, our Turkish colleagues,” he said.

The Russian president said the fight against terrorists in the Middle East is one of the key priorities for the international community.

This is an abridged version of an article first published by TASS

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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