Moscow made a protest against Great Britain in connection with the meeting of British diplomats with representative of Maskhadov and Chechen militant Ahmed Zakayev that took place on January 18. Zakayev told the diplomats that no connection existed between Chechen guerrillas and Al Qaeda terrorists and even could not exist. It was also stated that it is the federal center that is responsible for stirring up of the Caucasus conflict; the importance of resuming political talks with Maskhadov was mentioned as well, etc.
Yesterday, British ambassador to Moscow, Roderick Line, was summoned to the RF Foreign Ministry. The ambassador was told that Russia considered the meeting with Zakayev to be “an action contradicting the spirit of cooperation and partnership that exists between the two countries, including combined resistance to international terrorism.”
Earlier, the Russian Embassy in London told the British Foreign Office that such meeting was not to take place. Nevertheless, the meeting with Zakayev took place. The Russian authorities consider “the that struggle against evil for more stability and security in the world excludes double standards and the division of terrorists into good and bad.”
The Russian party is also displeased with the fact that the PACE leadership invited Ahmed Zakayev to a session in Strasbourg. Russian representatives were told in PACE, from now on, such decisions would be made only by Moscow’s approbation.
Today co-chairmen of the Duma-PACE work group Lord Judd and Tadeus Iwinski, the head of the PACE delegation during the last visit to Chechnya, are to deliver reports.
Yesterday, Russia’s special services circulated newly confirmed information about a close connection of Chechen militants with Al Qaeda terrorist organization. Will PACE pay attention to it?
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
In the photo: Ahmed Zakayev
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/23/35896.html