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    Henry Kissinger

    Kissinger Believes West Needs Russia to Solve Syrian Crisis

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    In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger talked about the dangerous mix of new security threats and the ongoing fight against Daesh terrorists.

    Kissinger believes that Daesh (also known as Islamic State or ISIL) terrorists will further seek to expand their influence in the Middle East. According to him, the problem can’t be solved by diplomatic means and requires a hard approach.

    “I believe that we will not be able to find a diplomatic solution for the ISIL problem. ISIL must be defeated,” the politician told Handelsblatt.

    “I have always believed that for a substantial negotiation one needs some shared goals and values which I do not see in case of ISIL,” Kissinger said.

    According to Kissinger, the terrorist organization will spread its ideology and label other societies as illegitimate for as long as it exists. Moreover, it will further try to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East where it will continue its barbaric practices and carry out executions.

    As a true adherent of peace negotiations and diplomacy, Kissinger, however, believes that diplomatic means could still play an important role in the resolution of the conflicts in the Middle East. In his opinion, diplomacy would be especially relevant when it comes to bringing countries together and developing a structure that will make it more difficult for Daesh to carry out terrorist attacks.

    According to Kissinger, Russia and Western countries should play a key role in this process and join their efforts in the fight against terrorism.

    “The West must recognize that the agreement cannot be reached without Russia,“ he said. “A peaceful de-escalation of these and other problems is impossible without Russia’s participation.”

    In his opinion, Russia is now "trying to regain its identity in an unusual environment" and this seems problematic for the Western world that is unable to formulate a long-term strategy of its own development and therefore watching Russia’s maneuvers with suspicions.

    With regard to counterterrorism efforts, the politician argued that the forms of terrorism have significantly changed since 9/11 attacks. In his opinion, the basic principles of Daesh differ from those of al-Qaeda. On the one hand, Daesh has a territorial base where it acts like a traditional state with an internal administration, while on the other, al-Qaeda represents a religious and ideological movement with a decentralized structure.

    According to Kissinger, the turmoil in the Middle East would end only if parties involved will be able to find compromise and reach peace agreements, similar to the Peace of Westphalia.

    “[It] had put an end to the 30-year war between different groups with various motives and introduced a state system, serving as the basis of the international order for several hundred years. Even today, it is a fundamental principle,” the politician said.

    Kissinger is confident that such scenario is possible, but, in his opinion, it will not result from direct negotiations with Daesh.

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    Middle East, Daesh, Henry Kissinger, United States
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