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Foreign Ministers of Russia and of "Troika" of RIO Group to Discuss Iraq War in Moscow - 1 April, 2003

At the talks in Moscow on Tuesday the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and of the Troika of the Rio Group which includes 19 countries of Latin America will discuss the military operation of the USA and Great Britain against Iraq, Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

According to him, "a vast majority of Latin-American countries, including all the leading states of the region, have taken a stand of non-acceptance of the action against Iraq in circumvention of UN Security Council decisions." They are coming out for the earliest cessation of the war and for returning the Iraq issue into the UN channel.

The member countries of the Rio Group have expressed their concern over the damage done to the prestige of the UN as the guarantor of maintenance of international peace and security. The possible consequences of the war in Iraq for the world economic situation and the situation on the oil markets also cause great fears, Yakovenko noted.

He said that such a meeting would be held in Moscow for the first time. In the diplomat's opinion, the forthcoming talks in Moscow "reflect the mutual readiness of Russia and of the Latin-American countries to synchronise their approaches to the most pressing world problems".

Russia has been cooperating with the Rio Group since 1997. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica have come to the Russian capital. These countries belong to the main subregions of the Latin-American continent - the Andes Community, Central America and the Southern Cone.

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