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    COALITION FORCES IN IRAQ TURN INTO OCCUPANTS

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    MOSCOW, April 7, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The Federation Council (upper house) has urged the Russian executives to step up their efforts to normalise the situation in Iraq and transfer power to the legitimate leadership of the country.

    The upper house has adopted a statement saying that "the local population has seen the role of liberators from the despotic regime, assumed by the coalition forces, rapidly transform into an occupant mission pursuing its own interests in the seized territories." The document notes that the situation in Iraq is rapidly developing according to the worst scenario. "Disregard for the fundamental norms of international law and attempts to impose democracy in Iraq with no consideration for its historical Oriental reality have aroused hostility in Iraqi society towards this 'humanitarian intervention'," the statement says.

    According to the authors of the statement, the Iraqi situation should be settled in the interests of the Iraqi people with the support of the neighbouring countries, and in compliance with international law.

    Today Iraq is engulfed in mass uprising unprecedented for the modern history of this country, the Federation Council members recall. "The use of force on the part of the occupation forces does not only fail to provide order but, conversely, encourages violence, involving an increasing number of ethnic and religious groups of Iraqi society in it," runs the statement of the upper house.

    The document also says that the situation has been aggravated by the fact that despite their declared commitment to Iraq democratisation, the coalition forces are prosecuting influential spiritual and public figures of the country instead of involving them in the settlement.

    "Stabilisation in Iraq cannot be achieved through military suppression of the uprising. All the political and public forces of the country, including the resistance forces, should be immediately and directly engaged in the normalisation of the situation," says the statement.

    According to the Federation Council, further settlement of the Iraqi crisis in the interests of its people and international peace and security can only be achieved through real and active participation of the UN.

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