Russian foreign policy
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     Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov Holds Talks with Sudanese Minister of External Relations Mustafa Osman Ismail


      On November 27, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov held talks with Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Sudan Mustafa Osman Ismail, who arrived in Moscow for a working visit.

      Taking into account the situation obtaining in the world, special attention was paid in the course of the talks to discussion of ways to solve the tasks that have arisen before the international community in connection with the terrorist threat, which has assumed a global character. The sides underscored the importance of strengthening the cooperation of states for the purpose of organizing an effective rebuff to this dangerous phenomenon on the basis of working out a comprehensive approach to the solution of this problem, oriented preeminently to the removal of its underlying causes.

      The efforts of the world community to wipe out terrorism and extremism, it was noted, should be exercised under the aegis and with the active role of the UN, on the basis of improving international legislation in this area.

      The Russian side reconfirmed its principled stand against the identification of terrorism with individual countries or religions, including Islam, since this phenomenon in reality bears an international character and presents a common threat.

      In discussing the problems of a post-conflict dispensation in Afghanistan, Ivanov stressed the importance of having it restored with the cooperation of the UN as a peaceful and independent state respecting the principles and rules of international law and maintaining friendly relations with its neighbors. Of particular significance in this context, he emphasized, is the formation of a government in Afghanistan on a broad ethnic basis.

      The sides came out in favor of speedily overcoming the present crisis in the Middle East, of normalizing the situation around the Palestinian territories and restoring the peace process in the region, with the Russian minister noting the need for Israel and the Palestinians to take reciprocal steps to end the violence, adopt confidence measures and resume talks in accord with the Mitchell plan.

      The commitment of the sides to a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict was reaffirmed, which, the Russian side noted, should ensure the realization of the national rights of the Palestinians, including the right to self-determination and the creation of their own independent state, the vacation of Arab territories, and a reliable and equal security for all states and peoples of the Middle East.

      The need for an expeditious political settlement of the Iraqi problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council decisions, and in accordance with the principles and rules of international law was noted. In the sides' view, this would also open up the prospect of a general improvement of the situation in the Persian Gulf area and the establishment of an enduring peace and stability there.

      Questions relating to settlement of the many-year conflict in the south of Sudan also were thoroughly considered. Ivanov reaffirmed in this connection the principled stand of our country in favor of a speedy termination of the armed confrontation there and the start of serious talks between the sides with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable compromise within the framework of the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sudan. Questions of normalizing the situation in the Horn of Africa area, and other topical problems of the African continent also were touched upon.

      The sides expressed a firm intention to intensify the many-sided Russian-Sudanese ties, including in the political, trade, economic, cultural, scientific, technical and other areas of cooperation, and noted the importance of Russian organizations joining in the development of the oil resources of Sudan, construction of the Merowe water-power complex on the Nile, and the implementation of other projects.

      The ministers signed a Cultural Cooperation Program between the two countries for 2002-2004.

      Mustafa Osman Ismail invited Igor Ivanov to pay a visit to Sudan. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The date of the visit will be additionally specified.

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