Terrorists in Chechnya And Al-Qaida Are "Closely Related", Russian Senator Says

Terrorists in Chechnya and Al-Qaida terrorists are "very closely related", Mikhail Margelov, Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and head of the Federation Council International Committee, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

According to him, this is confirmed by information recently provided to Russia by American special services and the information of the Russian Federal Security Service.

Margelov believes that after the peace process began to "Chechenize" after the referendum. According to the senator, "it is crucial that the people who came to the referendum signed a peace treaty with Russia and joined the political process no matter how they voted." "It is crucial now that differences between different groups of influence in Chechnya should remain in the political sphere, be of electoral political, not military nature," Margelov noted.

The head of the Russian delegation at the PACE Berlin session hopes that the amnesty currently prepared in Chechnya will be "inclusive" and will eventually result in "broad popular participation in the political process in Chechnya." The Tuesday session of the PACE Political Affairs Committee dealt with appointment of a new Chechnya rapporteur. Yesterday, Margelov told RIA Novosti that candidatures from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and a number of other countries were discussed in the lobby following Lord Judd's resignation.

Margelov stressed in connection with this that "it is evident that the Political Affairs Committee will do its best for the new rapporteur not to represent the Socialist Group." "This is the only thing about which we can be sure," he said

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