Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has arrived in New York to participate in a meeting of the UN Security Council on Iraq on Friday.
The meeting will be held at the level of foreign ministers of the countries - permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, the USA, France, Great Britain and China). The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Spain and Syria will also take part in it.
As is expected, before the beginning of the meeting Igor Ivanov will meet U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. A meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Dominique de Vilpain and Foreign Minister of China Tang Jiaxuan is also planned.
According to RIA Novosti, at first the members of the Security Council will hear out the quarterly reports on the course of the inspections in Iraq to be submitted by head of the UNMOVIC Hans Blix and IAEA Director-General Muhammed ElBaradei. After that, the Foreign Ministers and the permanent representatives of the countries - members of the UN Security Council will hold an open discussion of the chief inspectors' reports.
After an interval, the Council will begin closed consultations on Iraq. A draft of an Anglo-American resolution, which in effect authorises military force against Baghdad, is being considered by the Security Council. Russia, France, Germany and China are coming out against the new draft resolution on Iraq.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia, France and Germany stated in the joint declaration adopted in Paris the day before that they would not let a resolution backing the use of force against Iraq be approved by the UN Security Council. In the opinion of the three countries, disarmament of Iraq can be achieved in a peaceful way through international inspections in keeping with resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council.
France, Germany and Russia also hold the view that the inspections are producing results. A good evidence, in particular, is the destruction of the As-Samud missiles by Iraq and the provision by Iraq of information on biological and chemical weapons.
At the meeting, the Russian side "will continue promoting peaceful settlement of the situation around Iraq by politico-diplomatic means on the basis of the resolutions of the UN Security Council".