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    MOSCOW, February 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - During their talks Wednesday, Acting Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov of Russia and his visiting Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, agreed to arrange bilateral consultations with a view to facilitating the visa regime between the two countries. The consultations are to be held between consular officials.

    Turkish nationals often encounter difficulties in receiving Russian visas, Gul complained. Speaking to a Moscow press conference after his talks with Ivanov, he said that he was hopeful that the sides would be able to resolve the issue as both had the will to do so.

    Commenting on the development of Russo-Turkish relations, Ivanov told reporters that bilateral cooperation was the most active in trade these days. The Russian minister reported that he and Gul had agreed to continue efforts to promote interaction between the two business communities. Cooperation in areas such as tourism and military technology is also on the rise now, he noted.

    On Wednesday, Russian and Turkish officials signed the following four documents: a 2004/05 schedule for consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey; a protocol on cooperation between the Archival Services; an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in rescue operations in the Black Sea; and an agreement between the Russian Transportation Ministry and the Turkish Prime Minister's Maritime Commission on mutual validation of diplomas held by members of marine crews.

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