Announcement by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Lukashevich, regarding the events in Iraq

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The extremely acute and tense situation is continuing in Iraq.

Militants from the al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who have seized one of the largest cities of Iraq, Mosul, are attempting to seize Baiji and Tikrit, which are located 120 kilometres to the north of Baghdad. According to incoming reports, extremists destroyed border signs on the Syrian-Iraqi border using a bulldozer, as if symbolically supporting their wish to create an Islamic caliphate in this general space.

We confirm again our decisive condemnation of the intentions of terrorists to reinforce their positions in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region. There is no doubt that those who invaded Iraq over 10 years ago and who continue to impose their decisions and will on the people of the region largely contributed to the launch of the processes of destabilisation, the results of which are evident today in the entire Middle East.

The surge of terrorist activities in Iraq, the continuing attacks of extremists in Syria confirm the topicality of the appeal announced at the G8 summit last year in Lough Erne regarding the need to consolidate the efforts of the Syrian government and opposition structures to decisively confront terrorists. We should recall that, as is known, the SAR government delegation insisted during the first round of inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva that the joint fight against terror was a priority. Unfortunately, these appeals were not heard, but terrorists got the opportunity to escalate their actions, which is confirmed by today’s events in Iraq.

We are convinced that the experience of the last years of development of the situation in Syria, Iraq and other Near and Middle East countries should make us reach the proper conclusions regarding the danger and inadmissibility of playing games with extremists of all kinds, using double standards and interfering, including by force, in internal processes in sovereign states.