Source Pravda.Ru

Russian and Iraqi foreign ministers to talk in Moscow

On Saturday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zibari will hold talks in Moscow.

The meeting will focus on the issues concerning the ways of the Iraqi situation settlement, an outlook for the promotion of the political process, and the development of the bilateral relations, Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Saltanov told RIA Novosti.

The participation of Russian companies in the rehabilitation of Iraq will also be on the agenda of the meeting, Mr. Saltanov said. He recalled that Russian specialists resumed work in Iraq just as the hostilities ended in the summer of 2003. Last April Russia took the decision to temporarily evacuate Russians for security reasons.

"We do not bow out of our commitments to give economic help to the people of Iraq. Our mood for the Russian companies to resume work in Iraq as soon as the security considerations let it to preserves," Mr. Saltanov said.

Moreover, the two foreign ministers will ponder convening an international conference on Iraq. "I believe the conference, provided for by Resolution 1546 of the United Nations Security Council, has become even more topical now that the period of occupation is over," the Russian deputy foreign minister said. In his opinion, the effort made by the Iraqi leadership to promote the political process and post-war rehabilitation of the country requires international and regional backing.

Hisham Ibrahim, Charge d'Affaires of Iraq in Moscow, told RIA Novosti: "The minister arrives in Moscow to reiterate the intention of Iraq to maintain in every way the historically-shaped friendly relations with Russia and discuss a wide range of issues, including trade and economic cooperation."

Moreover, Arab diplomatic sources informed RIA Novosti that the issue concerning the deployment of Russian troops in Iraq under the UN aegis might be brought up at the talks. According to RIA Novosti, the Iraqi foreign minister may make this request to the Russian authorities.