Lavrov and Rice discussed problems around Iraq

During their Washington meeting Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and US President's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice discussed the questions of political settlement in Iraq and the course of the preparation for turning sovereignty over to Iraqis.

As spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yakovenko told journalists, Mr. Lavrov and Ms. Rice declared to be for drawing all the strata of Iraqi society in this process, as well as "for making utmost use of the potential of the UN and the international community as a whole in Iraq settlement." The situation in the Middle East was also considered in the course of the conversation. Mr. Lavrov and Ms. Rice noted the positive effect of the latest efforts of the Middle East "quartet" (Russia, the USA, the European Union and the UN) on the regional situation. The sides emphasized the necessity of undeviating fulfillment by Israel and the Palestinians of their obligations within the "road map".

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