Russia helping fight against terrorism with consent of Iraqi gov't: Lavrov
HELSINKI - Reuters
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini (C) attend a press conference at Oulu City Hall after their bilateral meeting on October 14, 2015 on the sidelines of the XV session of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. AFP PHOTORussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Oct. 14 Moscow was helping the fight against Islamist insurgents in Iraq with the consent of the Baghdad government.
"It is necessary to support the cooperation between the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurdistan in the fight against terrorism, but we are doing it with the consent of the government," he said.
Lavrov, speaking at the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in Oulu, Finland, also said a new intelligence centre in Baghdad currently staffed by Russian, Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian officials remained open to all interested parties.
"These events show that all those who oppose terrorism who should get together and coordinate action," he added.
Iraq has begun bombing Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists with the help of the new intelligence centre, a senior Iraqi parliamentary figure said on Oct. 13.
Lavrov said the turmoil in the Middle East had been caused by the downfall of nation states. He said that due to a power vacuum, Libya had turned into a black hole through which people and arms were being smuggled.
He said it was for Syrian refugees to decide in which country they sought shelter. He said Russia had provided financial and humanitarian aid to Jordan and Lebanon to deal with the influx of people fleeing the war.
Earlier on Oct. 14, Lavrov said Russia had not received requests for direct military support from countries other than Syria.