Russia, France set up security cooperation council

Foreign Ministers Igor Ivanov of Russia and Dominique de Villepin of France have signed a joint communique on the creation of a security cooperation council. The signing ceremony took place in Moscow on Monday. Mr. Ivanov said in a comment that the document is a token of partnership between Russia and France.

According to the communique, the new council's goal will be to promote closer bilateral cooperation in maintaining international security. It will be working to foster a dialogue on challenges facing the modern-day world and to find mutually acceptable ways of countering them.

The council will concern itself with the fight against terrorism and measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Russo-French Security Cooperation Council is going to gather for regular sessions at least twice a year, alternating its session venue between Moscow and Paris, the communique says. Its members may also be convened for emergency sessions, should the necessity arise. The foreign ministers of Russia and France will co-chair Security Cooperation Council sessions, to be attended by the defense ministers and, probably, by the chiefs-of-staff, as well.

The newly signed document ushers in a new era in Russo-French cooperation, Mr. Ivanov believes.

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