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    TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER TO DISCUSS CHECHEN SEPARATISTS IN MOSCOW

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    MOSCOW, February 20th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will visit Russia on February 23-26 to discuss the activity of public organisations operating in Turkey and having links to Chechen separatists.

    "Some organisations that are considered to be public but continue supporting separatists are still operating in Turkey," Head of the Third European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Alexeyev said at a briefing on Friday.

    However, he didn't specify the organisations.

    He continued that the Turkish leadership had taken measures to thwart the activity of many organisations having ties with Chechen separatist leaders.

    "The official position of Turkey is that no measures would be taken on its territory to harm Russia's interests," said the diplomat.

    Earlier, several organisations having direct and indirect links to Chechen militants operated in Turkey. Akhmed Zakayev lived on Turkish territory for a while as well.

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