Russian President Vladimir Putin says terrorists will be defeated in Syria soon, stressing that the intra-Syrian peace process was developing in a positive way despite problems.
"There are all grounds to believe, I would say, cautiously, that we will finally beat the terrorists there [in Syria] in the near future," Putin told the annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting of foreign policy experts in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday.
He, however, warned that the elimination of terrorists would not mean that the threat posed by them was over "for Syria, as well as for the region and for the world in general,” underlining the need "to be on alert.”
The Russian president further warned that terrorism has “deep roots,” ranging from unfairness of the modern world to the lack of systematic education.
Putin said there is a proposal to create a congress of Syrian people, bringing together representatives of all ethnic groups in the Arab country.
Syria has been grappling with foreign-backed militancy since 2011. Russia has been conducting air raids against Daesh and other terrorist groups inside Syria at the Damascus government’s request since September 2015.
US not abiding by nuclear, chemical arms treaties
Elsewhere in his remarks, Putin accused Washington of not fulfilling its obligations under nuclear and chemical weapons treaties, saying the US was demonstrating "selfishness" in that regard.
"As is known, in 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and as the initiator of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons... it initiated the agreement but does not fulfill its obligations," he said.
"The country remains the sole and most powerful possessor of that type [of weapons] of mass destruction. Moreover, the US moved the deadline for the destruction of its chemical weapons from 2007 to 2023. For a state proclaiming itself to be a champion in non-proliferation and arms control, it is inappropriate," he noted.
North Korea crisis should be settled through dialog
Additionally, the Russian president highlighted the necessity of resolving the North Korea crisis through dialog, stressing that the Asian country is “a sovereign state."
"But it is absolutely necessary to resolve this problem through dialog and not drive North Korea into a corner, threatening it with the use of force, and not to fall into outright insolence,” he said.
Putin further said the situation surrounding North Korea was "dangerous" and doubted that a possible so-called US preventative strike on the Asian state would be successful.
Tensions have been simmering in recent months between Washington and Pyongyang.
North Korea, under an array of sanctions, says it is developing arms as deterrence against US hostility.
Unsettled by North Korean missile and military nuclear programs, the US has adopted a war-like posture against Pyongyang.
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