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Akhmadov Offers Chechnya Peace Proposal

(Washington, DC--March 19, 2003) Ilyas Akhmadov, Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, unveiled a new initiative to bring peace to his war-torn region at a briefing at RFE/RL on March 18. Akhmadov was accompanied by French political philosopher Andre Gluksmann and Olivier Dupuis, who serves on the Constitutional Commission of the European Parliament and is a substitute member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Akhmadov offered a plan for resolving the crisis that he compared to that in Kosovo or East Timor: that the United Nations would assume responsibility for a resolution; Russian troops would withdraw in favor of a UN peacekeeping contingent; the multinational force would pacify the region and set the foundation for representative institutions and eventual elections. The plan (which can be viewed online at would help Chechnya, he said, because it would be a guarantee of its existence and open the road to statehood. It would help Russia because it would stabilize the area remove a danger on its flank. Achieving peace "is an antiterrorist necessity," Akhmadov noted.

Akhmadov saw little hope that the March 23 referendum, which asks voters to approve a new constitution and regards Chechnya as an "integral and inseparable part of the Russian Federation," would bring a stable, viable peace to Chechnya. In particular, he criticized the fact that, according to the Russian Constitution, Russian soldiers stationed there would be allowed to vote.

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