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Russian Foreign Minister Singles out 3 Essential Aspects for Starting Iraq Settlement - 26 March, 2003

The Russian Foreign Minister has singled out three aspects required for beginning settlement process in Iraq. First of all, it is necessary to halt the military operation and let the Security Council resolve the crisis, the Minister said at a session of the Federation Council.

Then it is necessary to "define the current situation in Iraq" to take relevant measures. Ivanov explained that "if there is a need to maintain security in Iraq, international peace-keeping forces could be sent there under the aegis of the UN Security Council." The same is true of the economy, the minister stated.

The mission of the international weapons inspectors must be fulfilled to decide whether Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction or not, Ivanov said.

Ivanov stressed that it was of utmost importance to secure a cease fire, first of all; only then would it be "possible to start a dialogue to resolve other issues, such as the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the beginning of political settlement."