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    ABU DHABI, January 19, 2003 (RIA Novosti) - Dialogue with Aslan Maskhadov, leader of the irreconcilable Chechen separatists and president of what is known as independent Inchkeria (Chechnya), will begin only after his surrender to the legitimate authorities, Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechnya's incumbent President, said in an interview with the Saudi Al-Riyad paper.

    "Dialogue is quite possible. Maskhadov should only surrender, end terrorist operations and apologise to the Chechen people as it was him who plunged them into poverty and destruction, thereby forcing them to leave their land. Then his destiny will be decided in court," said President Kadyrov.

    "Maskhadov is not a legitimate president as he was elected when Chechnya lacked any constitution whatsoever. If he had allowed the Chechens to speak freely on the constitution, there would be no second Chechen war," he added.

    "However Maskhadov and his predecessor, Dudayev, were afraid that the Chechen people would speak in favour of remaining part of Russia," emphasised the president.

    When speaking about his Saudi visit, the president said he had met Saudi officials to discuss ways to further develop relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia and Russia's possible accession to the Islamic Conference Organisation.

    President Kadyrov had been invited to pay an official visit to the country by Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel Aziz of Saudi Arabia. His visit lasted from January 14 to 18.

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