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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 25, 2000

25 August 2000
Tatarstan Officials Meet Nationalist Opposition Leaders
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, State Council chairman Farid Mukhametshin, Deputy Prime Minister Il giz Khairullin, and other officials met with the leaders of the nationalist opposition organization, the Tatar Public Center (TPC), on 24 August, Tatar-inform reported. The TPC Presidium reported that participants exchanged opinions on strengthening Tatarstan's sovereignty. The TPC leaders proposed to discuss the issue of creating a regional confederation called Idel-Ural, which would unite some national republics. Shaimiev's press secretary, Irek Murtazin, was quoted as saying that the president spoke about the benefit of developing cooperation with Volga/Ural territorial entities, especially in economics, but noted that it is not expedient to create an Idel/Ural confederation since Russia is a federative state. Shaimiev said these kinds of efforts should instead be made to strengthen the Russian Federation.

Okrug Officials Visit Tatarstan To Confirm Schedule Of Legislation Coordination
Vladimir Zorin and Valentin Stepankov, deputies of the presidential representative in the Privolzhsky Okrug, are on a visit to Tatarstan, the daily "Vremya i Den gi" reported on 24 August. The head of the okrug's information center, Oksana Nikolaichuk, said that a meeting with the State Council's working group will be held during the visit to confirm a schedule eliminating contradictions between republican and federal legislation. Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, will participate. The working group, which unites 17 committees heads and deputies, is involved in bringing republican legislation in harmony with federal laws. Zorin summed up the result of his last visit to Tatarstan on 18 August by saying that in the course of negotiations, the working group showed a desire to work together without politization of juridical issues.

Tatarstan's Mufti At UN For Dialogue With Secular Authority
Tatarstan's mufti, Gusman khazrat Iskhakov, will make a report at a summit of religious and spiritual leaders called the Millennium of Peace in the World, which opens on 28 August at the UN in New York, Tatar-inform reported. Iskhakov received an invitation from the summit's secretary-general, Bava Jane, who mentioned that religious and spiritual leaders should find new ways of preventing war in the world and securing peace. The summit participants are expected to sign a Declaration of Peace at the summit. The other aim of the forum is to create an international consultative council of religious and spiritual leaders. Gusman khazrat is going to point out in his report that religion has never served as a reason for conflict but is often abused for unclean political aims. That's why, he said, it is necessary to hold a dialogue with secular authorities in order to promote progress in society.

Tatar Youth Days Held In Kazan
The 11th Days of Tatar Youth will be held near Kazan during the last week of August, Tatar-inform reported. Some 150 representatives of Tatar youth from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine come to Kazan to participate in the festival, which aims to promote national-cultural traditions among Tatar youth. Participants are scheduled to discuss problems in seminars with famous Tatar poets, writers, journalists, and athletes. Meetings with representatives of the State Youth Committee, the Muslim Spiritual Board, and the World Congress of Tatars will also be held.

By Gulnara Khasanova