Russia is an essential partner in the search of a way out of the Syrian crisis, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"I am one of those who believe that Russia is an essential partner to find a way out of the Syrian crisis," he said.
"There are two international coalitions operating in Syria simultaneously. They agree on some goals and are at odds on others. It is necessary to unite these two coalitions. This is the condition for the military victory over IS [Islamic State] barbarians. The only way to reach a political solution is through an international coalition involving Russia, which plays an essential role inside the country."
"The Vienna meeting is the first step," Sarkozy said. "What is our common goal? Is it destroying Islamic State or is it another goal? The fight against terrorism must be a priority for all. IS is our common enemy, one cannot say one thing and do another."
He also noted that it was necessary to support the Syrian opposition, because "it was a potential force for combating terrorism." "It is impossible to solve the Syrian conflict without the participation of Syrians themselves," he added.
Sarkozy has called on Western countries not to isolate Russia but to make a choice towards rapprochement and dialogue.
In a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Sarkozy said the reasons behind the current challenges for relations should not be discussed as "this is the responsibility of everyone."
"Each time when there is a misunderstanding between us, I hear two voices: either we live in confrontation or in dialogue, either this is estrangement or rapprochement," the ex-French leader said.
Sarkozy, who is currently the leader of The Republicans party, has called for "opting for rapprochement and dialogue." "Drifting apart is a mistake," the politician said. "Russia and France need to work together."
"We should in no way accept a new cold war, this will be a defeat both for you and us," the ex-president said. "There is no sense in isolating Russia, I strongly believe in this."
"There is need to talk to Russia especially when you disagree," Sarkozy said.
First published by TASS.
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