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Russia-China: War in Iraq Goes Beyond Scope of Local Conflict - 4 April, 2003

Russia and China "believe that the war against Iraq in its consequences is going beyond the scope of a local conflict and may affect the regional and global security, stability and development," announced participants of the Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministries' consultations held in Beijing on Friday.

The Russian delegation is headed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov. In Beijing, he held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his deputy Wang Guangya.

The adopted joint statement emphasises that Russia and China are seriously anxious about the continuing military action in Iraq. "Serious humanitarian consequences of the conflict arouse special anxiety," the document reads. It also underlines the necessity to comply with international humanitarian legislation.

The sides urged the states concerned to cease the military action and to bring the Iraqi problem back to political settlement.

The UN must continue playing the leading role in ceasing the conflict and settling the Iraqi problem, the statement points out. "The participation of the UN should be based on the earlier adopted UN Security Council resolutions, concerning disarmament, sanctions and humanitarian programmes, and on possible new decisions with consideration to the further development of the situation," the document reads.

The sides confirmed their intention to continue joint efforts in order to resume the political settlement of this issue within the UN framework, the statement emphasises.

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