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    MOSCOW SUPPORTS CENTRAL ROLE FOR UN IN IRAQ

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    MOSCOW, March 17, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Moscow confirmed the central role of the United Nations in a settlement in Iraq.

    "The situation in Iraq has developed the way the Russian leadership assumed it would. We are certain that the sooner everybody, including the Iraqis, give the UN a central role in the settlement (of the situation in Iraq), the better it will be for the whole region," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at his first press conference.

    According to Mr. Lavrov, the crisis in Iraq has shown that similar problems in the region can only be solved jointly.

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