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Anti-War Three Meet in St. Petersburg

A meeting of the so-called anti-war three - Russia's Vladimir Putin, Germany's Gerhard Schroeder, and France's Jacques Chirac - was completed on Friday in St. Petersburg. According to Rosbalt, Putin said that it was not the first such meeting - a similar meeting took place in 1998 outside of Moscow. Putin also said that Friday's meeting was necessary because 'our countries have the responsibility for the situation in Europe and the world.' He also said, on the eve of the Russia-EU summit, which will also take place in St. Petersburg at the end of May, Russia, Germany and France must discuss preparations for the summit and 'compare notes.' Putin also said that 'we want to make this summit exclusively for cooperation and decisions.'

Putin said that the general landscape of international relations must be prepared with the help of the unique functions of the UN. At Friday's meeting, the government leaders came to the conclusion that without interaction in the Euro-Atlantic world it will be impossible to achieve goals.

Speaking about the situation in Iraq, Putin said that 'our principle position has not changed. The first problem now is the transition to peace in Iraq, restoration of the country and humanitarian aid for its population.' He also said that all this must be decided through the central role of the UN. Putin also said 'Iraq must not overshadow other conflicts.' In part, leaders on Friday discussed the Palestine-Israel conflict, problems on the Korean peninsula and North Korea. Besides that they also talked about problems in bi-lateral relations between Russia and Germany and Russia and France. Putin said he looks at these relations with optimism. 'There is an interest, and it will take on a long-term character, because it is dependent on the political situation and plays an important role in the strengthening of international stability,' he said.

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