MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia stands for establishing a broad dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition in order for the country to oppose terrorism and protect its territorial integrity, a press release published by Russian Foreign Ministry Friday, reads.
"The Russian party underscored the importance of a broad dialogue between the Syrian Arab Republic government and patriotically oriented opposition forces for the benefit of the consolidation of efforts on anti-terrorism action, and Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity protection," the ministry said in the statement, following the meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Syria's Minister for Religious Affairs Mohammad Sayyed.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the officials discussed the situation in Syria and in the Middle East in the light of emerging threat particularly posed by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups. The sides pointed at the necessity of not only military, but also ideological counteraction to the jihadists, who spread a misrepresented vision of Islam, contrary to the views of most Muslims, the body added.
The Islamic State Sunni extremist group has been fighting the Syrian government since the civil war broke out in 2012. It has since seized vast areas across Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate state in June.