11:38 GMT28 September 2020
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    The decision of Washington, London and Paris to block Moscow's request to recognize Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam as terror groups calls into question the sincerity of the sides in their commitment to fighting extremism, Russia's ambassador to Britain said.

    LONDON (Sputnik) – The decision of France, the United Kingdom and the United States to block the Russian request to the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee offering to list Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam groups as terrorist organizations is "akin to abetting extremism," Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said on Friday.

    “The second blocking of the Russian initiative is nothing more than just another attempt to shield the above groups, whose crimes are well-known. Such a move is akin to aiding and abetting international extremist elements and even supporting terrorism in the name of the so called ‘Sunni alternative’ being imposed upon the Syrians,” Yakovenko said in a statement.

    He added that this step was in contradiction with the counter-terrorist efforts of the international community.

    “Such a self-interested, politically motivated approach of our partners in the UN Security Council … calls into question the sincerity of declarations made by Washington, London and Paris regarding their commitment to the obvious task of fighting terrorism,” the ambassador added.

    The Russian initiative was blocked on Monday. According to Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Russia provided the United Nations with evidence proving links of the Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam to the Jabhat Fatah al Sham (al-Nusra Front) terror group, outlawed in Russia and a number of states.


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