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    ABDULATIPOV SEES RUSSIA'S HISTORICAL MISSION IN PRESERVING UNITY OF ITS PEOPLES

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - Ramazan Abdulatipov, chairman of the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia, believes that the Russian Federation should set up an executive body responsible for the implementation of the nationalities policy concept, he said on Monday, delivering the main report at the third congress of the Assembly.

    "There must also be the post of commissioner for the rights of the various peoples," said Abdulatipov.

    In his view, the Assembly, set up in 1998, has one major goal - "to gather together Russia's peoples and lands." He indicated that the concept of nationalities state policy boils down to bringing together the peoples residing in a multi-ethic state.

    "The principal historical mission of Russia is to preserve the unity of our peoples. This is the most patriotic mission," Abdulatipov emphasized. He added that equality of each people regardless of its numbers is the democratic template for nationalities policy. "There will be no prosperity without this," believes the assembly's chairman.

    Speaking of Chechnya, Abdulatipov expressed the view that the tragedy of that republic "had no bearing on the issue of nationalities from the outset."

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