1 April 200411:49

RUSSIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SERGEY LAVROV MEETS WITH LAKHDAR BRAHIMI, THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL'S SPECIAL ADVISER FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS

646-01-04-2004

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Unofficial translation from Russian

PRESS RELEASE

On March 31 Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov met with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for Political Affairs, within the framework of the International Conference on Afghanistan being held in Berlin under UN auspices.

Questions related to the carrying out of the measures within the framework of the transitional process in Afghanistan, as well as the situation around Iraqi settlement were discussed.

From a common point of view, the importance was noted of increasing the central coordinating role of the United Nations in Afghan affairs at the crucial stage of conclusion of the transitional period in that country, as determined by the Bonn Agreements. As priorities, including in the context of cooperation between Russia and the UN, were singled out the reliable ensuring of security in Afghanistan, particularly in the stage of preparing for and holding the elections, support for the transitional government, and an effective and complete neutralization of the terrorist and narcotic threats emanating from the territory of the country.

Lavrov positively assessed the efforts being made in Iraqi settlement by the UN Secretariat leadership and Brahimi personally. Common opinion was expressed that the future elections in Iraq should be carefully prepared under the aegis of the UN. On the other hand, the sides agreed that for the Organization's full-scale return to Iraq it is necessary to create proper conditions, primarily in the field of security, and to clearly designate the end of the occupation and the beginning of a new period in settlement.

April 1, 2004

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