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    ANNAN COMES TO MOSCOW FOR TALKS ON COUNTER-TERRORISM COOPERATION

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    MOSCOW, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has come to the Russian capital for a three-day visit, the UN press center reports.

    Whilst in Moscow, Mr. Annan will meet for talks with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Parliament Speaker Boris Gryzlov.

    AlexanderYakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a preview press conference that the UN head's forthcoming talks with top Russian government officials will be dominated by issues concerning Russia's initiative to create a UN-sponsored global system to counter modern-day threats and challenges.

    "The priority topics to be discussed at these negotiations will include structural consolidation and enhancement of the coordinating capabilities of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in the global scale, its interaction with international and regional anti-terrorist structures, including the relevant mechanisms of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, " Mr. Yakovenko specified.

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization groups Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Armenia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's member states include Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

    Yakovenko reiterated Russia's support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to bring stability to the post-war Iraq. He also noted that Russia shares Mr. Annan's deep concern over the latest developments in the Serb province of Kosovo.

    "This is why at the upcoming talks with Mr. Annan, a strong emphasis will be laid on the large-scale outburst of violence provoked in the province by Albanian extremists, as evidence that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is still not being implemented in full. Attempts to indulge extremists from among the Kosovar Albanians have ended up in a failure, but have created serious destabilization risks for the entire region," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed out.

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