Russia, U.K. Foreign Ministers Agree To Continue Consultations On Iraq

Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have agreed to continue active consultations on Iraq at a bilateral level and within the framework of the United Nations' General Assembly. The Russian foreign minister said this on Wednesday after negotiations with his British opposite number. Ivanov said that Moscow and London "have different approaches but a common desire to find a way out of this situation". He noted that Russia and the United Kingdom stand for the fulfilment of all related resolutions of the UN Security Council aimed at Iraqi settlement. At today's negotiations, said the Russian foreign minister, we discussed common efforts and how "to take Iraqi settlement out of an impasse." The ministers exchanged opinions on the developments in Afghanistan. "We believe that such forces must come to power in Afghanistan which, being supported by the international community, will put an end to terrorism and promote peaceful development of that long-suffering country," said Igor Ivanov. Apart from that, Straw and Ivanov discussed partnership between Russia and the European Union, as well as between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "We are interested in the development of broad partner relations that would aim to strengthen European stability," stressed Ivanov. Bilateral relations, which are on the rise, according to the Russian minister, were also prominent at the Moscow meeting. Favourable conditions have been created for "political dialogue to produce concrete results in the practical areas of cooperation, above all in the trade-economic sphere," believes Igor Ivanov.

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