Russia in Consultations With US, EU, Arab Countries on Iraq Problem Settlement

Russia is in consultations with the United States, the European Union and Arab countries on the management of the Iraq problem, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters on Wednesday.

Queried on the kind of efforts Moscow might be willing to undertake to bring the Iraq issue back into the United Nations framework, Ivanov stressed, "In taking up one position or another, in taking any sort of decision, what we must think about in the first place is the Iraqi people, Iraq, and stability and security in the Middle East." The minister said the international community needed to combine its efforts if it wanted to help the Iraqi people rebuild peaceful life in the country. "Here we must be guided in the first instance by that prime objective," stressed Ivanov.

He went on to say that in the process of their ongoing consultations, Russia and its partners were to reach a decision on how "on the one hand to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country and, on the other, to consolidate international solidarity in solving crucial problems." As he put it, "for known reasons, the consultations are going on with difficulty." "But I'm positive that in the end common sense must prevail and we must reach the kind of decisions that conform to the common interests of building up co-operation in confronting the threats and challenges in order to make the world a safer and more stable place," the minister said.

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