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.