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Russia’s Putin slams hypocrisy, hidden goals in war on terror

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized double standards and the use of extremists in the fight against terrorism, calling for joint efforts to eradicate the scourge.

Putin made the remarks in an opening address to the 137th Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Saturday.

“We are confident that it is necessary to fight against terrorism without double standards, without hidden agendas, without the use of radicals for anyone’s political interests and, of course, only by joining hands, only together,” he said.

The Russian president also emphasized that “a real partnership” is crucially important for the counter-terrorism battle.

He further noted that “ill-considered foreign interference” has led to instability and a growing terrorist threat in both the Middle East and North Africa.

“Attempts to interfere in the life of sovereign states without understanding and taking into consideration the national features lead only to chaos,” Putin said.

Such a conduct, he said, had “resulted in the destabilization of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, in the escalation of tensions in the region and the growth of terrorist threat.”

Based on the UN Charter, he pointed out, every country reserves the right to define its own fate.

Syria reconstruction

Elsewhere in his comments, the Russian leader touched on the reconstruction of Syria, which been grappling with foreign-backed militancy since 2011

He said that the international community should begin mulling over assistance to Syria in the post-war era.

A Syrian girl walks past the rubble of a destroyed building down a street in Ein Tarma, Rif Dimashq Province, Syria, July 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Putin also underlined the importance of the intra-Syrian talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, which have brought representatives from the government in Damascus and opposition groups to the negotiating table and resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria. The negotiations were brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

The safe zones had paved the way for eliminating “the terrorist hotbed” and restoring peace to Syria, Putin said and stressed that Moscow was doing its best to stabilize the military and political situation in the Arab country.

“Over the past two years, the areas controlled by terrorists have shrunk, lots of large populated localities have been liberated and the terrorists’ infrastructure has been considerably damaged,” he noted.

Russia has been conducting air raids against Daesh and other terrorist groups inside Syria at the Damascus government’s request since September 2015.

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