West should draw lessons from past mistakes, respect UN authority – FM Lavrov to RT

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Washington and the US-led coalition have not learned the lessons of the past and keep undermining the United Nations’ authority with unilateral anti-terrorist actions on Syrian soil, Russia's FM Sergey Lavrov told RT, urging the West to “harmonize” its actions with Damascus.

Whenever people act bypassing the United Nations, whenever they try to use force, not asking the Security Council to consider a special situation and to issue a necessary mandate, people undermine the United Nations’ authority,” Lavrov said in an exclusive interview with RT on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly in New York.

READ MORE: Full RT interview with Russian FM Lavrov

This is something that happened in Iraq, in Libya, in Yugoslavia,” Lavrov said, pointing to an obvious fact that “in all these cases, these countries did not benefit.”

READ MORE: Assad’s enemies may be portrayed as opposition, but he fights terrorists – Putin

The US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) “was established and organized not exactly in line with international law,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

When “the coalition announced its right to strike ISIL on the territories of Iraq and Syria, they received the consent of the Iraqi government, [but] they never talked to the government of Syria, and they never came to the Security Council,” Lavrov noted.

If the Syrian leadership was invited in the multi-national effort, as Moscow repeatedly condoned, the fight against terrorists would have been more productive. “We could have...[had a] much more efficient basis for promoting our common goal of not allowing the terrorists to succeed in this key region of the world,” Russia’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow wants its “partners to draw lessons from past mistakes, for these mistakes not to be repeated.”


READ MORE: Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams ‘policies of exceptionalism and impunity’ in UN speech

The international community should cooperate closely in Syria, Lavrov said shortly after the leaders of Russia and the US had held their bilateral meeting in New York. “President Putin explained that we believe that we have to be pragmatic and reasonable and rational – and all those who detest ISIL, who fight ISIL must coordinate,” the minister said, adding that Russia encouraged the US-led coalition to “harmonize” their airstrikes with local forces on the ground.

I believe that President Obama heard what President Putin had to say,” Lavrov told RT, adding that the discussion was “very constructive,” but no “specific steps” had been agreed upon. Yet, the two nations “agreed to continue cooperation” and further discussions will be held between foreign and defense ministries “to make the common goal more achievable.”