Putin: Power vacuum in region filled by Islamist extremism

In his UN speech Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a broad coalition against terrorism similar to the anti-Hitler alliance formed during WWII. The power vacuum, in the Mid East and North Africa is filled with Islamist terrorism, he said: The pro-democracy movement has led to chaos in Libya, weak government in Iraq and the Syrian civil war. No one but Assad and his militia is truly fighting ISIS in Syria, said Putin. Russia will shortly convene a ministerial meeting to analyze the threats in the Middle East. Putin called for coordination between anti-Isis forces based on UN principles. If this is achieved, there would be no need for refugee camps and the “great and tragic migration of peoples” would be over.

The Russian leader complained about the expansion of Nato, and the “logic of confrontation” which has led to the current crisis in Ukraine. He says there was a “military coup” coordinated from outside Ukraine which triggered a civil war. The Russian and US presidents are to meet later Monday on the sidelines of the UN session for the first time in a year.

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