Foreign Ministers of Russia, France and Germany to Discuss Situation Around Iraq in Paris - 4 April, 2003

At their Friday meeting in Paris, the Foreign Ministers of Russia, France and Germany will discuss the situation around Iraq. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will meet with his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin. Then a meeting of the Russia-France-Germany trio at the level of foreign ministers will take place.

Igor Ivanov, Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer intend to discuss different aspects of the Iraqi crisis.

Moscow, Paris and Berlin are coming out for the earliest termination of the war in Iraq. At the same time, the three countries are aware of the fact that it is necessary to decide already now the questions relating to the post-war settlement in Iraq and rehabilitation of its economy hit hard by the hostilities.

Moscow stresses that, no matter how the situation in Iraq will be developing in the next few days or weeks, the Iraqi issue will inevitably return to the United Nations framework soon or late. This concerns, in particular, the return to Baghdad of the international inspectors who must decide on the availability or unavailability of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Moscow emphasises that without completing the inspectors' mission it is impossible to suspend the sanctions which are in force vis-a-vis Baghdad.

The humanitarian situation in Iraq will also become an important question at the meeting.

Igor Ivanov arrived in Paris from Brussels where he had held talks with his U.S. and British counterparts. So, within two days the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold consultations on the Iraq problem with his counterparts from three countries - permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Yuri Fedotov has been instructed to hold talks with the Chinese side in Beijing.

Author`s name Petr Ernilin