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    IRAQI LEADERSHIP INTENDS TO REESTABLISH BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA

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    BAGHDAD, April 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) The Iraqi Provisional Authorities intend to reestablish bilateral relations with Russia, said Russian Ambassador-at-large to Iraq and Persian Gulf states Sergei Kirpichenko on his visit to Iraq.

    During his talks with representatives of the Iraqi Provisional Governing Council the Iraqi part expressed the hope for reestablishment of active bilateral economic cooperation, Mr. Kirpichenko said.

    "Mostly in branches where both Soviet and Russian specialists assisted Iraqis, namely petrochemistry and water management," he added.

    Security of Russian citizens constructing and restoring a number of power plants in Iraq was another issue on the agenda of the talks, the Russian diplomat said.

    During the meetings the Iraqi part expressed the gratitude for Russia's stance towards the Iraqi issue and the role Russia plays to settle this issue, Mr. Kirpichenko stressed.

    He also emphasized that all forthcoming contacts of the Russian Foreign Ministry aimed at the fastest and most efficient settlement of the Iraqi issue would be expanded. A number of meetings with Iraqi political forces as well as coalition member-states will be held.

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