Putin world ex-leaders stress need for multilateralism in handling global challenges

Russian President Vladimir Putin today had an almost two-hour-long Kremlin meeting with visiting members of the InterAction Council, an international association grouping former heads of state and premiers. Seventeen national ex-leaders from all across the world took part in Monday's meeting, Yevgeny Primakov, chairing the organizing committee of the InterAction Council's 21st session, told the media.

According to Primakov, the message sent by the participants to the world is that no global challenges are possible to cope with single-handedly. They pointed out that "unilateral decisions are counterproductive," making an implicit allusion to the United States' policies, he said.

The attendees also examined options for the re-organization of the UN, primarily of its peacekeeping activity, but emphasized the importance of keeping the organization's charter intact, Primakov reported. They all expressed their determination to look for solutions that could bring the world's progressive-minded forces together for collaborative efforts in handling such shared challenges as nuclear non-proliferation, terrorism, and inter-ethnic conflicts.

Mideast-related issues were high on the agenda, with the region labeled as an "incubator of terrorism," Primakov said. The sides spoke out in favor of a collective solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, praising the "roadmap" peace plan as an example of collective mediation effort.

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