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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 26, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI). Qatar ambassador was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry for the second time.

    Sources at the Russian foreign ministry told RIA Novosti that acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov met with Qatar diplomat Saad al-Kobaisi.

    Igor Ivanov's statement was circulated last night in connection with the detainment in Qatar of three Russian citizens.

    Russian acting foreign minister requested that the Qatar authorities free the illegally detained Russian citizens without delay.

    "In the early hours of February 19, the local secret services arrested in Doha, the capital of Qatar, three Russian citizens who were on a mission to the Russian embassy. Their arrest was performed with the use of arms and brute force," the statement says.

    "The mentioned Russian citizens, of whom one has diplomatic passport, are Russian secret services' officers. They stayed in Qatar on a legal basis being on a mission to the embassy. They fulfilled the tasks of the information-analytical nature, connected with countering international terrorism, and did not violate the local legislation. Their actions fully coincide with the efforts of the member states of the anti-terror coalition to disclose the sources and channels of financing, organizational mechanisms and other means of supporting the terrorist organizations," the statement points out.

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