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Iraq: Ivanov Says Russia To Consider British Proposal

Dushanbe, 13 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said today that Russia would consider a British compromise proposal that would set out a series of steps Iraq must take to disarm. Ivanov was speaking at the start of a meeting with Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov in Dushanbe. The Russian Foreign Minister said he was cutting short his one-day trip to Tajikistan to return to Moscow for consultations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the British proposal.

Britain yesterday proposed six steps Iraqi President Saddam Hussein must take in order to avert war. The proposal is an attempt to win backing for a draft resolution seeking UN authorization for a possible war against Iraq.

Russia -- which has veto power in the UN Security Council -- had previously said it would block the draft resolution.

Tajikistan was the final stop on Ivanov's regional tour which also included Iran and Afghanistan. In Kabul yesterday, Ivanov said terrorists could take advantage of a potential war in Iraq to threaten regional stability.