Strikes against Baghdad counterproductive

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac agreed yesterday that the recent air strikes against Baghdad had been "counterproductive for the political settlement of the situation in Iraq." The two countries’ close positions on the issue were displayed during a telephone talk, the Russian presidential press service told Interfax. According to the press service, Russia and France intend to step up efforts to restore the dialogue between Iraq and the UN and to promote the Iraqi settlement on the basis of the well-known resolutions of the UN Security Council.