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Tatarstan's President Expects Talks With Dudayev Aides

Moscow, April 5 (RFE/RL) - A top Russian official says that Mintimer Shaimiyev, president of the mostly-Muslim Russian republic of Tatarstan, is expected to hold talks with aides of Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev in the next 15 days.

The official, requesting anonymity, refused to say who will represent Dudayev at the talks or when precisely they are expected take place. There has been no confirmation from the Chechen side.

Shaimiyev's spokesman Anas Khasanov told RFE/RL by phone from Kazan that Shaimiyev left today for a two-week vacation in the United Arab Emirates.

Khasanov did not confirm that any meeting would take place during this time. Russian President Boris Yeltsin earlier said that Shaimiyev may act as mediator at peace talks between Russian and Chechen separatists.