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    IT TAKES FIRM NATIONAL BASIS TO MAKE LASTING IRAQI DEMOCRACY - IGOR IVANOV

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 19, 2004. /RIA NOVOSTI/ -- There is no way to impose democracy on any country, let alone get it on a firm footing from without, and with no account for its national, ethnic and religious specifics, says Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs. The ministry carries his essay, "The Iraqi Crisis and Efforts Toward a New World Order," on its website today.

    As he appraises lessons taught the world by the Iraqi crisis and its aftermath, the minister points out: "Lasting democracy can emerge solely on a firm national basis. There is only one way to promote it from without-by providing beneficial external conditions for the development of democratic processes, and through necessary political, social and economic assistance." Igor Ivanov highlights a bad current danger-of Iraq, with its domestic crisis, merging with other hotbeds of tensions in its part of the world, primarily the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is why "a political settlement plan is to be launched as soon as possible, on the pattern of what has been successfully implemented in Afghanistan through international efforts, as chaos and violence are gaining momentum in Iraq." International security forces in Iraq need an explicit mandate. That is among principal prerequisites of political settlement there, stresses Mr. Ivanov.

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