Russia says no common approach with Washington on fighting ISIL

Russia says no common approach with Washington on fighting ISIL

Russia says no common approach with Washington on fighting ISIL

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) talk before a trilateral meeting on August 3, 2015 in Doha. AFP Photo

Russia and the United States have not been able to agree a common approach to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Aug. 5 after his second meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in recent days. 

“We all agree that Islamic State is the common threat, the common evil. We agree that we need to join efforts to fight this phenomenon as soon and as effectively as possible,” Lavrov said, referring to ISIL, in comments carried live by Russian state TV from Malaysia. 

"For now we don’t have a joint approach on how specifically we can do it given the stand-off between various players on the ground, including armed units of the Syrian opposition,” he said.

The Russian minister also said U.S. President Barack Obama appeared not to have told the truth in 2009 comments about the need for a planned missile shield in Europe should a nuclear deal be reached with Iran. 

“President Obama in 2009 publicly said that if the Iranian nuclear issue is resolved, there would be no need for missile defense in Europe. It seems that he was not telling the truth,” Reuters quoted him as saying. 

Separately, Kerry, voiced concern to China on Aug. 5 over its land reclamation in the South China Sea and the “militarization” of its disputed waters.

Kerry raised the issues during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of a regional diplomatic gathering in Malaysia that has been dominated by tensions over China’s moves to shore up its territorial claims.

“Secretary Kerry reiterated his concern about rising tensions over disputed claims in the South China Sea and China’s large-scale reclamation, construction, and militarization of features there,” a senior State Department official told reporters. “He encouraged China, along with the other claimants, to halt problematic actions in order to create space for diplomacy.”   

China has sparked alarm in the region by expanding tiny reefs in the flashpoint sea and constructing military posts on them.

The U.S. and Southeast Asian countries have called for a halt to such activities, but China has refused.

A day earlier, Southeast Asian foreign ministers warned after they met in Kuala Lumpur that China’s moves were raising regional tensions, with the Philippines slamming Beijing’s “unilateral and aggressive activities.”