Vladimir Putin snubbed Barack Obama and revived Russia’s historic role in the Middle East on Monday by calling for a new “broad coalition” to fight Isil based on co-operation with the Assad regime, report Richard Spencer, Harriet Alexander in New York and Roland Oliphant in Moscow.
In his long-awaited speech at the United Nations, the Russian president fiercely attacked American policy in Syria and around the world and criticized the West for “exporting social experiments” in the form of democratic revolutions, which he blamed for the Middle East crisis.
He said he had called for a new Syrian peace conference to be attended by a “contact group” of outside powers including Russia and the United States, as well as regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran.
Despite the fact that Russia is not among the countries led by the US currently conducting operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), Mr Putin followed up reports that it was co-ordinating intelligence sharing between Iran, Iraq and Syria by putting Moscow at the center of the world’s “war on terror”.
He went so far as to compare his plans to the alliance that fought Hitler in the Second World War. “We must address the problems that we are all facing and create a broad anti-terror coalition,” he said. (Read more from “Putin and Obama Clash Over Syria as Russia Calls for ‘Anti-Hitler’ Type Alliance Against ISIS” HERE)