Russia’s anti-terrorism initiative finds support from West, Middle East

Russia's initiative to establish a coalition to counter extremist groups has received widespread support among Western allies and countries in the Middle East, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Wednesday.

In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Syria and countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to join forces in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group and establish an anti-terrorism coalition.

"In general, we feel the extensive support of the Russian president’s initiative to form an international anti-terrorism front to fight the ISIL and other terrorist organizations," Bogdanov told RIA Novosti in an interview.

According to Bogdanov, the proposal was discussed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif during a recent visit of the latter to Moscow, as Iran's stance on events in the Middle East must be taken into account, given Tehran’s regional weight.

Earlier in August, Lavrov said that establishing the coalition would facilitate cooperation with states already fighting militant groups.

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