2015-12-15 15:13:00

Russian senator doubts effectiveness of Islamic anti-terror coalition without Iran and Iraq

Moscow, December 15, Interfax - An Islamic anti-terrorist coalition is unlikely to be able to function without Iraq and Iran, Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, said.

"Not only Sunni states, but also some Shia countries (for example Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain) have been invited to the coalition, although Iran and Iraq, without which, in any case, it is impossible to speak about the coalition's ability to act and its efficiency, are still absent. I would like to remind you that Russia is actively cooperating with these countries, and our joint actions are admittedly more effective than those made earlier by another 'coalition' - a U.S.-led one," Kosachyov wrote on his Facebook account.

"An attempt was revealed which would unite Islamic countries [in the fight] against radical Islamism, to distance, separate, and set their religion against the threat of it being monopolized and discredited by extremist movements," he said.

"If this happens, if this coalition allows its participants to put aside foreign policy disagreements, which largely stem from ideological contradictions, it may prove to be useful in the context of the anti-terrorist fight," he said.

A great deal also depends on the readiness and the ability of the countries facing this common threat to act jointly, and in accordance with the proclaimed goals, "rather than quietly disposing of individual 'hostile' regimes," Kosachyov said.

"Anti-terror cannot be a pretext or a 'cover-up operation'. It can only be a goal. This is not happening at this point, and not through our fault, although there have been more than enough attempts to shoulder the blame for all recent failures on to Russia," he said.

The Russian senator also believes that the situation is developing in the right direction.

"Russia, acting in contact with all states and each state individually, has been insistently suggesting a global anti-terrorist front instead of regional, bloc-type and symbolic ones. The multiplying unification initiatives can be both a good and a bad sign. The question is whether or not the proclaimed goals match the real tasks. Time will put everything in its place, if there is still enough time left," Kosachyov said.