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    IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER ANTICIPATES "FRUITFUL, POSITIVE" TALKS WITH RUSSIAN COUNTERPART

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    BRUSSELS, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Brian Cowen, Foreign Minister of Ireland, the country now holding the rotating EU presidency, expects the April 14 talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to be "fruitful and positive," the Irish government says in a press release. Lavrov is coming to Dublin tomorrow for talks with the EU Troika.

    Russia is a very important partner of the European Union (the fifth largest in trade), and their partnership should advance, Mr. Cowen pointed out. As the Irish Foreign Minister sees it, cooperation is the only way to guarantee prosperity and security in Europe.

    Along with EU-Russia relations, the forthcoming ministerial talks in Dublin will also deal with developments in the Middle East and in Cyprus, the Irish government's press service reports. Bilateral Russo-Irish relations will also be high on the agenda. Mr. Cowen reportedly said that he was looking forward to meeting with Mr. Lavrov in Dublin as he expected their meeting to once again reaffirm the lasting friendship between Russia and Ireland.

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