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    Lavrov Says No Alternative to UN's Central Role in Fight Against Terrorism

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    The fight against terrorism should be based on the international law, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart Lieberman.

    Fighter of the Islamic State group waving their flag from inside a captured government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria
    © AP Photo / Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group
    MOSCOW, January 26 (Sputnik) – Russia and Israel see no alternative to the central role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    “We have confirmed our joint position in regard to the non-alternative in the fight against this universal evil on the basis of international law. We support the UN’s efforts in playing the key role and doing it without any double standards,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Moscow.

    Tensions in the Middle East intensified last year with the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Islamic State jihadist group's expansion.

    The conflict dates back to the early 20th century, with the most recent outbreak of violence taking place in July 2014, when Israel blamed Hamas for the deaths of three Israeli schoolboys. Following the accusation, Israel launched an operation in Gaza targeting the group.

    Operation Protective Edge, which Israel launched on July 7, resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 70 Israelis, according to the UN. On August 26, the Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed to an open-ended ceasefire. Clashes between the sides have continued despite the agreement.

    The Islamic State (IS) militant group is active in the region, seizing vast areas in Syria in 2012 and expanding its operations to Iraq in 2014, declaring an Islamic caliphate on the territories it controlled. The extremists have become known for their brutal tactics, such as public crucifixions and beheadings of captured prisoners. The IS has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

    Meeting of Russian and Slovakian Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Miroslav Lajcak
    © RIA Novosti . Vladimir Astapkovich
    Russia and Israel believe that leading Arab countries need to play a more active role in settling the situation in the Middle East, the Russian foreign minister said Monday.

    “We are sure, and here we have a quite close view of the situation, that leading Arab countries should play a more active role in searching for a comprehensive settlement,” Lavrov said, referring to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    In December 2014, Lavrov said during his visit to Sudan that Arab League countries should join the Quartet of Middle East mediators in order to contribute more to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The Quartet, comprising Russia, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, was established in 2002. The body has been criticized for the lack of significant progress made in improving relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    The Arab League includes most countries of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, terrorism, UN, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel, Russia
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