Russia-UNESCO co-operation discussed in Paris

Issues of partnership between Russia and UNESCO came under the spotlight yesterday during a Paris meeting between Russian Foreign Minster Igor Ivanov and the secretary general of this organisation, Koichiro Matsuura.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's press department has reported that the sides pointed to the current productive nature of Russia-UNESCO co-operation, while they also discussed how to boost further partnership in various fields within the organisation's competence, such as education, culture and science. Matsuura praised the effective role UNESCO played in Russia and the assistance provided to enhance its versatility.

The Russian ministry added that during the talks Igor Ivanov conveyed President's Putin appreciation for the message of condolence sent by the UNESCO secretary general in connection with recent tragic events in Moscow and expressions of support and solidarity in the fight against international terrorism.

Moreover, Koichiro Matsuura informed the Russian minister about how a UNESCO programme to assist the restoration of the education system in Chechnya was progressing. Igor Ivanov, in his turn, thanked the secretary general for his help in solving this question and stressed the importance of distinguishing the difference between a political settlement and terrorism in Chechnya.

The sides in addition reached an agreement on an enlarged role for this organisation in the worldwide celebrations to mark St Petersburg's 300th anniversary. Matsuura agreed with "the need to further enhance the role of the Russian language in UNESCO," the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.

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