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    Lavrov: Russia has no problem with Rice's central Asian tour

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    PARIS, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia has no problem with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent tour of Central Asia.

    "There is no conflict of interests," Lavrov said.

    He said the United States notified Russia of the trip and that he had coordinated a schedule of further international contacts Rice on the phone.

    Lavrov said in late October that he would visit Central Asia, where Russia has legal interests.

    "We have many links with these countries," the minister said.

    Lavrov said Russia's western partners understood the need for cooperation with Central Asia and that Russia approved their striving to develop relations and combat terrorism in the region.

    According to Lavrov, however, these relations should be transparent.

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