Consultations on Iraq to be held in Moscow on Saturday

Tripartite consultations on Iraq are due to take place in Moscow on Saturday with Russian, British, and American diplomats participating, according to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

The minister pointed out that he would also meet the participants in the consultations. "Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell phoned me asking to receive the American and British representatives," Ivanov said. According to the minister, Powell stressed that this was necessary to continue the consultations launched during Ivanov's visit to New York.

According to the minister, Moscow is ready for the dialogue. At the same time, it is the return of international inspectors to Iraq that counts most.

Ivanov stressed that about 200 inspectors from 44 countries are ready to go to Iraq to start their mission - examination of Iraq's nuclear programmes. Inspectors of IAEA and Russia are among them, the minister said. "Formally, everything is ready," the minister believes. "We only need a corresponding signal from the UN Security Council. We believe this signal must be given," Ivanov said.

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