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US, Russia to work together against Daesh

August 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Russia and the United States have agreed to join efforts in the fight against Daesh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

Lavrov’s remarks came after a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“We agree that we need to join efforts in the fight against this phenomenon [Daesh] as soon as possible and as effectively as possible, but we don’t have a common approach on how specifically this can be done, taking into account the contradictions between the various players,” Lavrov said, adding that experts from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. State Department would continue to work together, under the guidance of current initiatives.

Kerry and Lavrov also covered the situation in Syria, ‎ the importance of finding a political solution and the need to continue to address the Bashar Al-Assad regime’s possession and potential use of chemical weapons, according to a press release by the U.S. State Department.

Previously, the two ministers, and their Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir met in Qatari capital Doha on Monday, after which Lavrov said Russia opposed ongoing U.S. airstrikes in Syria on positions held by Daesh.

At a joint press conference held with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, Lavrov stressed that Washington “never asked the Syrian government’s consent” for the airstrikes which, he asserted, represented a violation of international law and of Syria’s national sovereignty.

Lavrov also told Kerry that Russia opposed the deployment of U.S.-trained forces in Syria, but added that airstrikes were not enough to defeat Daesh and went on to call for the use of Syrian ground forces against the militant group.

According to Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, has proposed the creation of a single front aimed at unifying efforts to combat terrorism.

“Russia provides support to the Syrian people,” he said, without which, he added, “Daesh would have succeeded in taking more territory”.