2013-10-11 10:03:00

Syria political process delays give chance to radical Islam supporters - Russian foreign minister

Moscow, October 11, Interfax - Failure to call the Geneva II international conference and launch a political process in Syria as soon as possible might allow radical Islamists to reinforce their foothold in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Lavrov said in his speech at the East Asia Summit in Brunei that he and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had discussed this problem in detail.

"It is important to move very rapidly to call the forum we have been speaking about for many months. The longer we delay it, the stronger radical Islam supporters will grow in Syria. They have already proclaimed the goal of establishing a Sharia coalition and forming a caliphate in the Syrian Arab Republic and the territories around it. In other words, the longer the start of the political process is delayed, the greater the chance is that these radicals will "run the show" in Syria," the Russian minister said.

Lavrov expressed his gratitude to all those who supported the Russian-U.S. initiative concerning the Geneva II international conference on Syria.

"We are working to make it happen as soon as possible. But, so far, we do not see any unity within the opposition. Kerry and I discussed this issue in detail," he said.