2012-04-28 10:16:00

Russia not concerned by Islamists' rise to power in Arab countries - Lavrov

Moscow, April 28, Interfax - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said he is not worried by the rise of Islamists to power in certain Arab countries.

"Political Islam is a normal phenomenon. It does not raise any concern with us, and we do not have to try hard to learn to work with these parties because we have worked with them, the Islamists, for a very long time," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

"If we talk about trusting the people's choice, I see nothing terrifying here," Lavrov added.

Ignoring such parties and movements leads to negative results, he said.

"This was the case in 2007 when the Islamist movement Hamas won elections in Palestine, won honestly, and everyone recognized that. The elections were free and fair but the West refused to recognize the results because the West considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization. We do not think so and we have regularly worked with Hamas and continue this work," the Russian foreign minister said.