The task of the international community in the Iraqi issue is to ensure the implementation of resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council. Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov said this at the final press conference after the session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. According to the minister "the priority task for today is to ensure the work of international inspectors in Iraq." Ivanov also stressed that the international community should not think that the settlement of the Iraqi problem "will solve the problem of international terrorism." The minister reported that the consideration of the issue of the Iraqi settlement during the Russian-US summit in St. Petersburg "passed in the context of the realisation of resolution 1441, unanimously approved in the UN Security Council." According to Ivanov the text of the joint Russian-American statement on Iraq strictly corresponds to the wordings of that resolution.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now