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    LAVROV FLIES TO WASHINGTON FOR G8 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING

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    MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, will fly to Washington on Thursday to participate in a G8 foreign ministers meeting.

    At the meeting on Friday, the ministers will work on the main items of the agenda of the G8 summit in Sea Island in June.

    Aleksandr Yakovenko, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman, told RIA Novosti that the ministers plan to focus on the fight against terrorism. A number of documents that will make joint antiterrorism efforts more effective are being prepared for G8 summit. Mr. Yakovenko explained that in particular the fight against transportation terrorism and bioterrorism would be discussed.

    The participants in the meeting also intend to discuss and agree upon the G8's position on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and on Middle East settlement issues.

    Joint decisions on important global political and economic issues, as well as on the global problems of humanity's development will be worked out at the ministers' meeting and the summit.

    Mr. Yakovenko noted that in the past few years Russia had substantially strengthened its positions in the G8 (the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia). The decision to give Russia the chairmanship in 2006 is evidence of this.

    While in Washington, Mr. Lavrov also plans to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Japan and Canada. A tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and France has not been ruled out either.

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