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    RUSSIAN-FRENCH SECURITY COOPERATION COUNCIL TO HOLD THIRD SESSION IN PARIS

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    SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ (FRANCE), MARCH 5, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI). Russian and French representatives will discuss the development of bilateral military-technical cooperation within the framework of the third session of the Russian-French Security Cooperation Council to open in Paris on Friday, March 5, Russian acting defence minister Sergei Ivanov said after the talks with his French counterpart Michele Alliot-Marie Dominique in the French town of Saint-Jean-De-Luz.

    "We are going to discuss a wide range of questions relating to the development of the Russian-French military and military-technical cooperation as well as regional problems over which the two countries are concerned," Sergei Ivanov said on the eve of the Council's session.

    According to him, the sides will spotlight the establishment of closer interaction between Russia and France in supporting stability in Europe, the fight against international terrorism and non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons.

    Taking part in the session will be Russian acting defence minister Sergei Ivanov, acting foreign minister Igor Ivanov and their French counterparts - defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie Dominique and foreign ministerDominique de Villepin.

    The French prime minister said at a press conference on the results of the talks with Sergei Ivanov on Thursday that Moscow and Paris are going to expand collaboration in developing military aviation technology.

    "The point at issue are planes, helicopters and promising pilotless devices," she said.

    On his part, Sergei Ivanov said relations between the two countries in military-technical cooperation are "self-sufficient".

    "The military-technical cooperation between our countries are developing successfully. To the promising spheres of cooperation mentioned by Alliot-Marie we can add space activity. I hope that very soon we will acquaint you with the first results," Sergei Ivanov declared' The Security Cooperation Council was formed in compliance with the decisions of the Russian and French presidents.

    The Russian and French foreign ministers signed a joint statement on the creation of the Council which also determines the procedure of its work on July 8, 2002.

    The Council's sessions are being held in Moscow and Paris, in turn. The first session was held in Paris in November 2002, and the second - in July 2003 in Moscow.

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