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Commentary by MFA Information and Press Department on the participation of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in the international conference on Iraq


A representative international conference on the situation in Iraq will be held in Paris on 15 September at the initiative of French leaders. The conference will be attended by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Iraq and its neighbours, a number of other countries in the region, as well as the UN and the League of Arab States.

Russia views the French proposal to come for an urgent discussion of Iraqi developments as a timely step designed to lay the groundwork for the broad consensus needed to enable the world community to jointly help the people and government of Iraq that are facing the unprecedentedly dangerous challenge posed by the radicals of the so-called Islamic State.

It is common knowledge that well-trained, armed and heavily financed groups of militants control a number of regions in Iraq, where they are committing serious crimes against peaceful civilians and ethnic and religious minorities. In these territories, the radicals have been establishing an administrative system of their own and organising everyday based on medieval law.

This is why we hope that the participants in the Paris conference will manage to work out an effective plan that will not only help to check the proliferation of the Islamic State’s influence but will also decide how to help Baghdad in its efforts to fight terrorism and remove the socio-humanitarian and economic consequences of this crisis.

We are pleased to note that in the face of the large-scale threat posed by the Islamic State, the Iraqi leadership has managed to overcome their internal differences and present a united front, which is necessary to defeat these terrorists.

Russia, for its part, intends to continue rendering comprehensive assistance to its Iraqi partners not only to help them oppose the extremists but also to restore and develop the Iraqi economy.

It should not be forgotten at the same time that the source of Iraq’s terrorism-related problems is in Syria. It is from there that the terrorists have come; it is there that they have formed their criminal groups and gained the necessary fighting experience. The favorable conditions for the emergence of the Islamic State phenomenon have cropped up in the Syrian Arab Republic as a consequence of its four-year-old internal armed conflict and the inability of the international community and often unwillingness on the part of certain countries to look for acceptable political settlement options.

We hope that the ministerial forum in Paris will prove useful for a penetrating and inclusive exchange of views on the Iraqi, Syrian and regional problems.

13 September 2014