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Putin at UN: Keep Syria's Assad in power

By
Ed Adamczyk
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, addresses the 70th session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly held Monday at the UN in New York City. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, addresses the 70th session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly held Monday at the UN in New York City. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, justified propping up the Syrian government and called for a coalition effort against the Islamic State.

Speaking after U.S. President Barack Obama and prior to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Putin's comments concentrated largely on fighting IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL. He suggested the United Nations organize an "international coalition against terrorism" similar to the alliance which defeated Nazi Germany and one which includes the current Syrian government.

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"Russia is ready to work on the basis of broad consensus on the further development of the United Nations with all partners," Putin said, noting vacuums in power have led to the rise of extremism in the Middle East.

His proposed approach differs from that of Obama, who urged a "managed transition" away from the Syrian President Basher al-Assad. Putin's remarked the flow of refugees from Syria could be stemmed with more support of Assad while Obama blamed the Syrian leader for the humanitarian crisis.

Russia has increased its flow of military manpower and supplies to Syria, and Sunday it was announced Russia entered an intelligence-sharing arrangement with Iran and Iraq.

"This is not about Russia's ambitions, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the urgent state of affairs in the world," Putin told the General Assembly, predicting increased support of the Syrian government will dissuade Syrian citizens from becoming refugees.

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