Vladimir Putin: I'm Concerned Syria Will End Up Like Libya And Iraq

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Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses Syria with Charlie Rose at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. "After the invasion [of] Iraq, the authorities were destroyed, Saddam was hanged, and then the ISIL came there."

"And what happened in Libya?" he asks. "Full disintegration, no state at all. Even the diplomatic service of the U.S. have felt losses."

"Thousands of American troops are still in Iraq, and what is the result? Quite a sad one, and quite a tragic one."

"We don't like the same thing to be repeated in Syria, and we are urging all of our partners to make additional efforts to fight this absolute evil of fundamentalism, the so-called Islamic State. And some other groups of the same kind."

CHARLIE ROSE: Russia has been supporting the Assad government. Iran has been supporting the Assad government. Yet, it seems to be like a pendulum, swinging one way and then the other. What is your solution to a terrible civil war with millions of refugees, and when can it be done?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Well, the sooner the better, I think. At the same time, I would like to highlight one thing, our position is based on the concern that Syria might submerge into the same situation as Libya. Or like Iraq.

Because as you know before the authorities in Iraq -and Saddam Hussein himself-- were destroyed, there were no terrorists there, there had been no terrorists. Let us not forget that.

It is actually, people prefer not to talk about that, but who created the conditions, and how the conditions were created for terrorists to burst out of these territories, how after the invasion to Iraq, the authorities were destroyed, Saddam was hanged, and then the ISIL came there, the Islamic State.

And what happened in Libya? Full disintegration, no state at all. Even the diplomatic service of the U.S. have felt losses, and we know about the tragic case in Libya [Benghazi].

And we do not want a similar scenario to be implemented in Syria. That is the baseline of our position to support President Assad...

Thousands of American troops are still in Iraq, and what is the result? Quite a sad one, and quite a tragic one. We don't like the same thing to be repeated in Syria, and we are urging all of our partners to make additional efforts to fight this absolute evil of fundamentalism, the so-called Islamic State. And some other groups of the same kind...

We are urging to find the political settlement way, which of course would provide for transformation of the political regime, and we are ready to discuss this with President Assad as well, by the way, just recently in the U.N., an opportunity to cooperate with Assad was declared in struggling with ISIS and other terrorist groups.

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