Moscow, SANA – Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that Russia has provided and will continue to provide military and technical assistance to Syria in order to fight terrorism which is an absolute priority now, calling on other countries to do the same.

This came during a speech at a meeting of heads of states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which kicked off in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on Tuesday.

Putin said that the situation in Syria and its surroundings is too serious, with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controlling large areas in the two countries, and terrorists talking about their intention to establish control over Mecca, Medina, and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and spreading their way of thinking in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.

He pointed out that terrorists from different countries, including Russia, European countries, and many of former Soviet Union states, are fighting in the ranks of ISIS, stressing the importance of unifying international efforts to combat terrorism.

Putin also called on the Syrian government, the Syrian opposition, and the states of the region to unify their efforts in the battle against terrorism, stressing that without the active participation of the Syrian authorities and the Syrian Army, it would be impossible to expel the terrorists from Syria and the region as a whole, and it would also be impossible to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-denominational Syrian people from destruction, slavery, and barbarism.

The Russian president called on Western countries to desist from double standards policy and to stop any direct or indirect utilization of some terrorist organizations to achieve narrow personal goals like changing governments of states that the West is displeased with.

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Putin noted that Russia had called for forming wide alliance to confront extremists where all countries who want to contribute to combat terrorism can do so in the same way as the armies of Iraq and Syria are doing now.
“It’s necessary to think about political reforms in Syria, and we know that President Bashar al-Assad is ready to involve constructive opposition in the state administration” Putin said.

He also denied the allegations that Moscow’s support for the authorities in Syria has sparked a flow of refugees, pointing out that Syrian refugees are escaping primarily from clashes resulting from the acts of external sides that sending weapons to terrorists in Syria, and that they are also fleeing the criminal acts committed by terrorists.

The Russian President stressed that if Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in it would have been worse than the situation in Libya, and the flood of refugees would have been even higher.

Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh

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