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    POWELL: CHECHNYA - RUSSIA'S INTERNAL AFFAIR

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    MOSCOW, January 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The United States is pleased with the results of the October 2003 presidential elections in Chechnya, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said at the U.S. ambassador's residence on Tuesday.

    Chechnya is an integral part of Russia and the Chechen conflict is, therefore, Russia's internal affair, emphasised Mr. Powell.

    He said the U.S. had called upon Russia on many occasions to try to find a political solution to the conflict and offered a range of its own solutions. Mr. Powell admitted that they had not been a success.

    Mr. Powell was hopeful that a political solution would eventually be found.

    He said the United States would be eager to contribute to the settlement effort if parties to the conflict approached it with a relative request.

    However, the international community's involvement in this matter will be rather limited, he added.

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