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    MOSCOW FLATLY REJECTS EQUATING TERRORISM WITH ISLAM

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russia flatly refuses to equate terrorism with Islam and believes this to be "a very dangerous trend aimed at kindling interfaith hatred," Russian acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov announced, when speaking at the CIS Interfaith Forum in Moscow on Tuesday.

    "The state of interfaith relations in the modern world is exercising an ever more increasing influence on the interstate policy. The religious factor should serve the interests of mutual respect and cooperation between nations," Mr. Ivanov emphasized.

    According to him, every world religion preaches unity, love and peace.

    "Russian diplomacy has for a long time been cooperating with representatives with all religions in the CIS for the sake of peace and stability," he pointed out. He also gave a high assessment to the efforts of CIS religious leaders to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the member states.

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