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Kadyrov Says Number of Chechens Fighting with ISIS in Syria Limited | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

Moscow – Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that only a few dozen of his country’s nationals were fighting with ISIS in Syria, adding that most of them were living in Western Europe at the time of their recruitment.

Kadyrov stressed that measures taken by Chechen authorities have succeeded in bringing back many young recruits home before they reached Syria.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the Chechen president said that no country was safe from terrorism, adding that adopting unified mechanisms in the evaluation and classification of terrorist groups could limit threat levels.

Kadyrov said his country was cooperating with Saudi Arabia in fighting terrorism, adding that such collaboration was for the benefit of both Russia and the Kingdom.

“We are currently taking preventive measures against terrorism,” Kadyrov said, depicting his country’s long history of sufferings due to terrorism.

“Our war against terrorism began during the tenure of former President Akhmad Kadyrov,” he said.

“There were more than fifteen thousand terrorists in Chechnya coming from scores of different countries; unfortunately, many of those came from the Middle East,” he added.

Kadyrov stressed that with the help of the Russian Federal Services, the country was able to eradicate terrorism and restore stability and security.

“We support the leadership of Saudi Arabia in its war against terrorists and criminals who are attacking innocent lives,” he stated.

The Chechen president strongly condemned explosions that have rocked several cities in Saudi Arabia.

He added that he was confident that the Kingdom was serious in its efforts to fight terrorism.

“Our leaders in Russia are calling on the world to unify efforts in fighting international terrorism,” Kadyrov stated, adding that regular meetings between Russian and Saudi officials have shown common understanding of this plague.

The Chechen president said that conflicts in the Middle East have led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children. He noted that those conflicts were aimed at weakening Islamic states and creating chaos in the region.

Kadyrov also said that “specific western powers” have instigated wars in the Middle East in order to create long-term economic and social crises.

“They want the world to see Muslims as terrorists and extremists; but, in fact, the roots of terrorism stem from western countries,” he added.

The Chechen president went on to say that terrorism was a western phenomenon that is uncommon to Islamic societies.

“Lack of unity between Islamic nations is serving the goals of the enemies of Islam and the Arab world”, he stated.

Kadyrov stressed that international resolutions pertaining to the Middle East have not been implemented, adding that the United States and its allies were not interested in their implementation.

Asked about the main challenges facing the economy in Chechnya, Kadyrov said that with the help of the Russian federal authorities, the country was currently implementing reconstruction projects and attracting investments from Russia and foreign companies.

He added that unemployment rate has decreased from 76 percent to only 10 percent, adding that the country was counting on opportunities presented by foreign investments.

The Chechen president said he encourages Gulf and Saudi investors to explore great investment opportunities in his country.

“Chechnya is an oasis of stability and peace,” he said, adding that his country was ready to present Saudi businessmen with a wide array of promising projects.