Foreign Ministers of Russia and Saudi Arabia to Discuss Post-War Iraq

The foreign ministers of Russia and Saudi Arabia, Igor Ivanov and Prince Saud al-Faisal, will meet in Moscow to consider post-war reconstruction of Iraq, the situation in the Middle East and ways of combating international terrorism, Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry, said.

The Saudi minister will arrive in Moscow Wednesday evening at the invitation of his Russian counterpart. Their meeting is slated for Thursday.

"Russia is going to confirm the need for the early rehabilitation of peaceful life in Iraq and ensuring the UN's central role in the post-war development of that country," Yakovenko said.

He stressed also that Moscow considered it "important to complete as soon as possible the work to finally close the question of Iraq's disarmament and of lifting the sanctions in keeping with the corresponding UN Security Council resolutions." "The initiative of Saudi Arabia to hold a meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries neighbouring on Iraq, and also Egypt and Bahrain, in April 2003 in El Riad, has been positively assessed in Russia," the diplomat pointed out.

According to Yakovenko, "in connection with the situation on Palestinian territories Russia will stress the need to continue efforts of the four international intermediaries - Russia, the U.S., the EU and the UN - as well as other parties concerned." "The way towards this goal has been laid out in the Roadmap drawn up by the quartet," he said.

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