Calling for a comprehensive approach to terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took the General Assembly’s podium today to propose a United Nations Security Council enquiry into all aspects of the scourge in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The terrorist threat requires a comprehensive approach if we want to eradicate its root causes rather than be condemned to react to the symptoms,” he said on the fourth day of the 69th annual high-level meeting. “ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) is just a part of the problem.
“We propose to launch under the auspices of the UN Security Council an in-depth study on the extremist and terrorist threats in all their aspects across the MENA area. The integrated approach implies also that the long-standing conflicts should be examined, primarily between Arab nations and Israel.
“The absence of settlement of the Palestinian issue over several decades remains as it is widely recognized one of the main factors of instability in the region that helps the extremists to recruit more and more new Jihadists.”
But Mr. Lavrov devoted the lion’s share of his address to rebutting Western charges of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and condemning Western actions in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
“The US-led Western alliance that portrays itself as a champion of democracy, rule of law and human rights within individual countries, acts from directly opposite positions in the international arena, rejecting the democratic principle of sovereign equality of states enshrined the UN Charter and trying to decide for everyone what is good or evil,” he declared.
He cited the support of the United States and European Union for the “coup d'état” in Ukraine and their justification the “self-proclaimed” Kiev authorities’ suppression by force of the part of the Ukrainian people that rejected the attempts to impose “the anti-constitutional way of life to the entire country.”
“It is precisely the aggressive assault on these rights that compelled the population of Crimea to take the destiny in its own hands and make a choice in favour of self-determination,” he said. “This was an absolutely free choice no matter what was invented by those who are responsible in the first place for the internal conflict in Ukraine.”
He decried Western support for the Syrian foes of President Bashar al Assad. “The struggle against terrorists in the territory of Syria should be structured in cooperation with the Syrian Government, which clearly stated its readiness to join it,” he added.
“We warned against a temptation to make allies with almost anybody who proclaimed himself an enemy of [Syrian president] Assad: be it A1 Qaeda, Jabhat an Nusra and other ‘fellow travellers’ seeking the change of regime, including ISIL, which today is in the focus of our attention.”