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26.03.2003 12:23:00
Russian senators call for stopping war in Iraq
MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) - Russia's Federation Council has urged parliaments around the world to do everything possible to put an early end to the war in Iraq and settle the crisis within the UN.

   "Tensions are growing in the Middle East. The conflict is threatening to spill beyond Iraq. The use of force has inflicted serious damage on the generally recognized principles and norms of international law and on the entire system of international security," says a statement unanimously approved by the upper house on Wednesday.

   The senators believe that the military operation is killing more and more civilians daily, destroying Iraq's economic and social infrastructure and damaging the natural environment.

   They are also concerned that the unity of an international coalition, which is expected to resist the main challenges of civilization (terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction), has also been affected.

   The senators argued that the Iraq crisis and its consequences "pose a serious threat to Russia's national security and its interests."

   The Federation Council supported the Russian leadership's carefully weighed-out and consistent policy, which is aimed at settling the Iraq crisis politically and diplomatically and baesd on the UN Security Council's resolutions.

   It urged President Vladimir Putin to set up a strategic group with representatives of the presidential staff, Security Council, both houses of parliament, ministries, agencies and representatives of the academic and business community to work out measures to ensure Russia's interests in the Middle East. [RU EUROPE EEU EMRG LEG POL US IQ] sd mg <>

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