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Igor Ivanov Nad Indian First Deputy Minister of External Affairs to Discuss Iraq Crisis - 28 March, 2003

On Friday Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov will discuss the Iraqi crisis, the problems of terrorism and the fight against the drug threat coming from Afghanistan with Indian First Deputy Minister of External Affairs Kanwal Sibal.

Last Sunday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov, in a telephone conversation with Indian Minister of External Affairs Yaswant Sinha, discussed the situation in the Persian Gulf and the possibilities of the United Nations resuming its efforts for a peaceful solution of the Iraqi crisis. Both sides expressed deep concern with regard to the threat of a humanitarian disaster in Iraq in view of the war and agreed to support regular contacts on the Iraqi problem.

Apart from that, the sides intend to discuss other urgent questions of international stability and regional security, paying attention to the recent terrorist act in Jammu and Kashmir which killed twenty-four persons.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "Moscow indignantly and painfully reacted to the terrorist act committed in the village of Nadimargh in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir on the night of March 24th when more than twenty civilians, including women and children, were shot down." In the opinion of Moscow, the crime committed against the Hindu community was aimed to deteriorate the situation in the state and to undermine the efforts of the Indian leadership and the local authorities in establishing peace and tranquillity in Jammu and Kashmir.

Resolutely condemning terrorism in any of its manifestations, Russia supports the measures being taken by India on checking the activity of the forces which stake on terrorist methods.

Apart from that, as RIA Novosti was told in the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, the Russian-Indian working group on combating terrorism and the drug threat coming from Afghanistan will hold its six session in Moscow on Friday. The Russian delegation at the negotiations will be headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov, and the Indian delegation - by First Deputy Minister of External Affairs Kanwal Sibal.

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