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    IRAN SUGGESTS THAT CASPIAN STATES SET UP SPECIAL ANTI-TERRORIST STRUCTURE

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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - At the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Caspian states being held in Moscow the Iranians suggested that a special structure to combat international terrorism be set up.

    RIA Novosti has learned about this from a well-informed source inside the Iranian delegation. The source noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who chairing the meeting because Russia is the host country, said that the proposal "deserved consideration and possibly support."

    "Today we are discussing a draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea," Mr. Lavrov said at the opening of the meeting. "The draft says that use of the Caspian Sea for peaceful purposes and turning it into a zone of good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation is the goal uniting us. But we must work hard to implement it."

    Mr. Lavrov said that the Caspian Sea was located in an unstable area in the immediate proximity to the center of international terrorism. "It is important for us to develop cooperation and a collective counteraction to international terrorism, other new threats and challenges that could appear in the Caspian," Mr. Lavrov said.

    The Iranians also proposed that a special mechanism on working out a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea be created.

    A special working group that was created at the first meeting of the foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea states in Ashkhabad in 1996 has been engaged in drafting a convention until now.

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