DKB Security Councils Secretaries to Focus on Iraq Issue

The Iraqi crisis will be one of the main issues at the meeting of the Committee of the Security Councils' Secretaries (KSSB) of the countries party to the Collective Security Treaty (DKB), to be held in Moscow on March 19-21.

Deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Oleg Chernov told journalists the day before, the common stand on the Iraq problem is well-known on the whole, and there are no differences among the DKB participants on this question. All of them stand for a politico-diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi crisis on the basis of Resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council.

At the same time, he opined that "even in the most negative scenario in Iraq after the (March 17) statement by U.S. president George Bush, all the countries, including Russia, will have to seek ways to bring the situation around Iraq back into the peaceful channel". "The crisis will affect too many countries irrespective of their current stand - active, passive or neutral," Oleg Chernov stressed.

The preparations for return of the DKB into a full-scale military-political organisation is another important topic of the meeting of the KSSB of the DKB, Chernov noted. He recalled that it was planned to hold a regular session of the DKB Council of Collective Security in Dushanbe on April 22, 2003. "The formalised transformation of the DKB into the ODKB - a full-scale military-political organisation, a new entity of international law in the sphere of collective security" will take place at that session.

"Over the past 2-3 years the DKB, which includes Belarus, Russia, Tajikistan, Kirghizia, Kazakhstan and Armenia has turned into a genuine organisation, which takes real steps to ensure security of the participating states", Chernov emphasised. According to him, after the ODKB's establishment, decisions on taking necessary measures in case of a threat to any member of the organisation will be taken more promptly because a legal basis for this will appear.

Chernov said that the questions of interaction between different structures of the Anti-Terrorist Centre (ATC) of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the DKB Committee of Chiefs of Staff, and improvement of the mechanisms for countering drug trafficking would also be discussed at the meeting.

A number of heads of the interested ministries and agencies have been invited to attend the meeting, and, in line with tradition, delegations of almost all CIS member-countries that are not parties to the DKB will be present at it as observers.