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German Foreign Minister Calls for Some Autonomy for Chechnya

Bonn, July 30 (RFE/RL) -- German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel has asked his Russian counterpart, Yevgeny Primakov, to grant Chechnya some autonomy within the Russian Federation, according to the German Foreign Ministry.

Kinkel met with Primakov late yesterday in Paris, on the sidelines of a one-day conference on terrorism. The Group of Seven (G-7) leading industrial countries and Russia are attending the conference.

The German minister called for "a large autonomy (for Chechnya) within the framework of the Russian constitution." Kinkel said he was "concerned by the new wave of fighting" in Chechnya after the presidential election. He said the conflict "could only be settled politically."