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Transcript of Remarks and a Reply to a Media Question by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Following Meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Algiers, November 23, 2005

2491-24-11-2005

Foreign Minister Lavrov: I am very grateful to the Algerian President, Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, for this welcome, for the informative and frank conversation on all aspects of the Russian-Algerian partnership. We discussed the work on the fulfillment of the agreements reached during the visit of the Algerian President to the Russian Federation in April 2001.

We have some definite progress. At last, the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-and-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation has started working, although the results in trade could, of course, have been much higher. We shall take measures to enhance these results. There is a great interest in joint investment projects. We also discussed this question, just as our cooperation in regional and international affairs, where the positions of Russia and Algeria are close or coincide in most cases.

We highly value the role of Algeria in the organizational and political formation of the African Union and in the creation of a collective security system in Africa as well as efforts which Algeria is making to tackle the socioeconomic problems of this continent, including through multilateral programs.

I am certain that our strategic partnership will continue developing ongoingly. Both the leaders of the two states and our peoples are interested in this.

Question: Was the question of the payment of the debts that have formed as a result of, among other thing, Russian arms supplies discussed? And a second question. Reports exist that a meeting of the European trio on Iran, with the participation of Russia, will be held in Moscow at the beginning of December. Can you confirm this and will this meeting help avoid a referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the Security Council?

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Today we conversed with Mr. President and discussed, as I already said, all the questions of our mutual relations, including, of course, the questions of the methods and dates for debt payment. I am certain that we shall be able to find a mutually acceptable solution.

As to the second question, an IAEA Board of Governors meeting will be held in Vienna tomorrow to consider another report of Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. This report offers evidence in favor of the need to continue the work of the IAEA in Iran. We shall support this.

We also support the soonest resumption of the talks between the European trio and Iran on the Iranian nuclear dossier. When and at what venue these talks will be resumed is up to their participants themselves, of course.

Thank you.

November 24, 2005

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