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    RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER WARNS NATO COUNTERPARTS OF POSSIBLE TERRORISM UPSURGE

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    NORFOLK, APRIL 5, 2004, RIA NOVOSTI - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov warned of the possibility of an upsurge in global terrorism as he spoke Monday at an international conference currently being held in Norfolk, VA, under the NATO-Russia Council's auspices.

    "Today as never before can we feel the need to shift from theoretical developments-from the paperwork stage in working out common approaches, if you will-toward work on the practical aspects of joint resistance to terrorism," Mr. Ivanov said.

    "The leaders of all leading world powers are well aware of that," he noted.

    Terrorism, spurred by economic globalization, has spread all across the world now, and combating terrorist activity is a challenge shared by the entire international community, Ivanov pointed out. The necessity of joining hands against terrorism is reemphasized by the daily terrorist attacks in Iraq, including ones targeting Iraqis who want peace and stability restored to their country; as well as by the recent suicide bombing in the Moscow subway and the series of blasts on Madrid commuter trains, the deadliest terror act in Europe, he said. Another alarming piece of news came a short while ago from the central French city of Limoges, where explosive substances and detonators were found buried in railway tracks. In the Russian minister's view, all these are signs of a new terrorism waive looming, one that will be impossible to counter unless the global community achieves better coordination of its anti-terror efforts.

    "I believe that within the framework of topics put on the conference agenda, we must touch upon a number of fundamental issues," the Russian minister proceeded. He suggested that the Norfolk conference should consider, among other issues, the reconciliation of national and global interests for a more efficient fight against terrorism, the involvement of the armed forces in global counter-terrorism efforts, the balance between tighter security measures and civil liberties guarantees, and the role of regional military-political organizations in combating terrorism.

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