U.S. actions in the Middle East helped Islamic State to gain influence, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, according to Interfax.
The strengthening of Islamic State “became possible partly due to irresponsible U.S. politics” that focused on fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead of joining efforts to root out terrorism, Medvedev was cited as saying in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. President Barack Obama earlier on Sunday said that Russia is facing a strategic choice as Assad can’t stay. The Obama administration declined to comment Sunday on Medvedev’s statement.
The U.S. contributed to the strengthening of al-Qaeda, which led to the events of Sept. 11, Interfax reported, citing Medvedev. The terrorist threat can only be fought jointly, he said.
Medvedev and Obama met in the Malaysian capital at the East Asia Summit that followed a week of talks and conferences in Asia dominated by the battle against terrorism. The United Nations on Friday unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for countries to take “all necessary measures” to combat Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. and its allies will press ahead with their battle against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with or without Russia’s cooperation, Obama said Sunday in Kuala Lumpur. Discussions will continue in Vienna searching for a political solution.
“Russia has not officially committed to a transition of Assad moving out but they did agree to a political transition process,” Obama said. “And I think we’ll find out over the next several weeks whether or not we can bring about that change in perspective with the Russians.”
Global cooperation in fighting terrorism can only be successful if all actions are coordinated and sponsored by international institutions like the UN, Medvedev said at an earlier Sunday meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in Kuala Lumpur, according to Interfax.
Ban urged Russia and the U.S. to cooperate in fighting terrorism, adding he would unveil a plan early next year. The U.S. and its allies will press ahead with their battle against Islamic State with or without Russia’s cooperation, Obama said at the summit.