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    IRAQI, RUSSIAN UNIVERSITIES RESTORE TIES

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    CAIRO, February 21st, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Igor Kuznetsov) - Iraqi and Russian higher educational establishments are restoring the nearly severed ties, head of the Baghdad university's foreign languages faculty Mr. Nafaa said in an interview with the Arab Az-Zaman (Time) newspaper.

    He said he had successfully negotiated scientific exchanges with heads of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh and Lipetsk universities.

    In particular, the Voronezh Medical Academy expressed willingness to open its branch in Baghdad, whereas the Iraqi University in turn will open an Arab department at the philological faculty of the local university.

    Mr. Nafaa also noted bright prospects for co-operation with the Pushkin Institute and the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Moscow Lomonosov University, where Russian Arabists have been trained for decades.

    He recalled that co-operation with the Institute of the Russian Language had been lasting for 20 years, and now more than ever the Iraqis needed its help in restoring the Russian library that was destroyed during the war.

    Nafaa added that during his upcoming April visit to Russia, the head of the Baghdad University would specify partnership issues between Russian and Iraqi universities and forge relevant agreements.

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