14 September 200114:28

TRANSCRIPT OF MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IGOR IVANOV REMARKS AT PRESS CONFERENCE IN MOSCOW ON OUTCOME OF TALKS WITH FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HUBERT VEDRINE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2001

1625-14-09-2001

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Unofficial translation from Russian

We regard the working visit of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hubert Vedrine, as very important and timely. The visit had been planned beforehand, but in the light of the tragic events in the USA this problem figured prominently in our discussion. The leaderships and publics of our countries have expressed sympathy and friendly feelings to the American people. At the same time it is perfectly clear that conclusions have to be drawn from this tragedy.

The question of combining the efforts of the international community to counter the new threats and challenges we face in the 21st century is particularly acute today. It was from this point of view that we considered today questions relating to strategic stability, to the settlement of the regional conflicts in the Middle East and the Balkans, as well as the whole set of disarmament and arms reduction problems.

The talks will continue, a constructive dialogue has been established with our French partners. It is crucial that at such critical moments we are frankly discussing all questions in the interests of international stability and security.

Question: Is it necessary to respond by force methods to what has happened in the USA, and under what conditions is the use of these force methods possible?

Answer: I would like to draw attention to the fact that in these days people in Moscow are laying flowers not only at the US embassy, but also in the places where two years ago terrorists exploded the residential buildings, killing innocent people. This is, of course, an accidental coincidence, but it is symbolic. Today the stand of Russia is the same as it was two years ago. We spoke of the need to combine the efforts by the international community in the fight against terrorism. This is a common evil with which it is necessary to struggle together. In the fight against terrorism it is necessary to use all methods - both political and, if required, force-based. In order to exclude a repetition of such tragedies the international community ought to work out universal measures of counteraction against international terrorism.

Question: Russia has put forward an initiative to organize a meeting within the Group of Eight to discuss the problem of combating terrorism. At what level, when and where is this meeting to be organized?

Answer: We believe that a G8 summit meeting to comprehensively consider questions relating to counteraction against international terrorism would be useful. As to the time and venue of the meeting, this depends on the results of coordination among all the leaders of the G8 states.

Question: Why is the UN Security Council insufficiently involved in the discussion of the terrorist actions in the USA?

Answer: The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution condemning these terrorist acts and stated its view on that score. During the UN General Assembly session that has opened, a meeting at the level of foreign ministers of the Security Council member states is to be held. The questions of combating international terrorism will figure prominently at this meeting.

September 14, 2001

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