International community should concentrate on fighting our common threat – terrorism (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

An objective analysis of the current situation and contacts with countries of the MENA region reveal growing concern both in the region and beyond over the terrorist activities of the ISIS and other radical groups practicing violent extremism. ISIS is spilling into Afghanistan and looking at Central Asia. As available evidence shows, acts of terror in Europe are also directly linked with ISIS. Therefore, the common interest in the dace of this global danger should prevail over geopolitical schemes and national self-interest. Differences can always be settled by way of dialogue.

Since the start of the so-called Arab Spring, Russia has consistently spoken in favour of stopping ignoring the enormous threat emanating from violent extremism. It is outright dangerous to flirt with radicals and extremists for the sake of short-term opportunistic objectives. There are plenty of examples in history when such flirtations had dire consequences and fired back in a deadly boomerang.

It seems that all countries of the region, and not only them, now realise the scale of the threat. So it is high time to put aside the differences they have always had and concentrate, instead, on fighting this common threat.

Last week President Vladimir Putin discussed this issue with President Barrack Obama over the phone, emphasising that the prevention of ISIS’s extremist plans falls within the common interest of Russia, the United States and all other countries. The Russian and American leaders instructed Foreign Minister Lavrov and Secretary Kerry to immediately hold a meeting on sharing opinions on the best ways to pool efforts of our two countries and regional states.

That would mark a very important step towards a political consensus, following the statement adopted by Russia and G7 countries two years ago, in June 2013, when we urged the Syrian Government and the Syrian opposition to team up against terrorists and drive them out of the country. This objective remains as relevant as ever, but considering the scale of the activities of ISIS and its accomplices, efforts by the Syrians alone are not enough. What is needed is a truly inclusive international coalition to fight this horrible threat.