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    PACE TO DEBATE KOSOVO ISSUE, MARGELOV SAYS

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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - PACE (Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe) is to debate the situation in Kosovo April 29, deputy PACE speaker Mikhail Margelov, who also chairs the Federation Council's foreign-affairs committee, told RIA Novosti over the phone from Istanbul. This decision was reached at a session of the PACE bureau in Istanbul.

    The Russian delegation sent a request on holding such debates; that document was signed by 22 out of the Russian delegation's 36 members, Mr. Margelov noted.

    According to Mr. Margelov, it was decided to invite Harri Holkeri, chief of the UN civil administration in Kosovo, to take part in the debates.

    A similar request to debate the Kosovo issue by PACE was made by former British foreign secretary Donnell Lloyd, member of the House of Commons, Mr. Margelov added.

    In Mr. Margelov's words, the need to discuss the Kosovo issue by PACE members can be explained by the fact that ethnic and religious clashes have resumed on the Balkan Peninsula once again.

    We are witnessing ethnic-cleansing campaigns in Europe once again; ethnic and religious massacres have resumed today; Kosovo developments are the most negative thing to happen in the context of European unification, Mr. Margelov went on to say.

    A clash between two religions and civilizations, as well as two cultures, has turned into a real war, serving as a bad example for the entire European continent, Mr. Margelov stressed.

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