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    SERGEI IVANOV, MICHELE ALLIOT-MARIE VISIT CATHOLIC AND ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN WEST OF FRANCE

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    BIARRITZ (FRANCE), March 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russian and French Defense Ministers Sergei Ivanov and Michele Alliot-Marie, currently on a joint trip over France, visited a Russian Orthodox church in Biarritz. This church is within the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad. According to its senior priest father Georges, Chekhov, Blok, Nabokov and Shalyapin visited this church.

    On Thursday evening Sergei Ivanov and Michele Alliot-Marie are to arrive in Saint-Jean-de-Luz to hold talks on bilateral cooperation in defense, international and regional security spheres. This town in the west of France was chosen to host the talks by the French side. The French Defense Minister was its mayor for seven years.

    On their way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Michele Alliot-Marie, heading the Defense Ministry since 2002, told Sergei Ivanov about historic places of the Basque land located by the Pyrenees foothills. The two ministers attended a Catholic church in one of Basque villages and bowed to a memorial plate commemorating local residents killed in World Wars I and II.

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