UN General Assembly session to open in New York today

The 58th UN General Assembly is to open here today, with session delegates standing for a moment of silence and thus honoring the memory of UN mission officials, who were killed in Baghdad this August.

The general political discussion is to begin on September 23. Russian President Vladimir Putin, due to arrive in New York on September 24, will also take part in this discussion.

New York is to host a mini-summit involving more than 80 national heads of state and government during the afore-said general political discussion. Topical international issues, including the consequences of Iraqi developments, will be discussed.

The UN Security Council will hold its session at foreign-minister level within the 58th General Assembly's framework. For his own part, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is to arrive in New York on September 19.

The General Assembly session would be expected to discuss the Mideastern crisis, first and foremost. Russia approves the idea of okaying the road-map peace-settlement plan for the region. Moscow believes that this would increase chances for its implementation.

Moreover, Russia intends to submit a draft resolution on coping with new challenges and threats at the session. This document suggests using various UN instruments in order to prevent terrorists from laying their hands on mass-destruction weapons.

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