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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 27, 2000

27 November 2000
Shaimiev On Russia's Role In Settling Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, told IMA-press on 24 November that he "doesn't think that Russia has to intercept a peace initiative from the United States in the Middle East peace process. Competitive reasons shouldn't play a role here," he said. In Shaimiev's opinion, it is necessary, however, to be conducive to settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Commenting on the issue of sending peacekeeping forces into the region, the Tatar president said that "this issue needs to be discussed very thoroughly and carefully since the conflict between Israel and Palestine isn't a simple one, nor one that has suddenly appeared."

Shaimiev: Power Sharing Concept Is Ready
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told ITAR-TASS on 24 November that a concept for power sharing between federal bodies and territorial entities has been designed and sent to the regions for consideration. Shaimiev, who is a member of the Russian State Council's presidium, was charged with developing the document. He said that a meeting by an expert group was held last week to discuss the draft. After amendments and additions are received, Shaimiev plans to deliver a report on the concept to the State Council presidium in the first week of December. The issue will then be included in the agenda of the second session of the State Council in the first quarter of 2001, the news agency reported.

Kazan's Mayor Meets Council Of Europe Officials
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov met with Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer in Strasbourg to discuss a European symposium on historical cities to be held in Kazan, Tatar-inform reported on 24 November. Iskhakov, who is a vice president of the European Association of Historical Cities and Regions, proposed to organize the forum in Tatarstan's capital and it was agreed that it will be held in the autumn of 2002. Issues of cooperation between Kazan and Council of Europe's Local and Regional Authorities Congress were discussed at the meeting. Iskhakov also invited Schwimmer to visit Kazan. The European Historical Cities Association also agreed to hold a meeting in Kazan next April. Tatarstan's delegation also met the head of the Council of Europe's Historical and Cultural Heritage Department, Jose Ballester, to discuss Kazan's participation in a European program called "Culture-2000."

Kidnapped Boy Released In Kyrgyzstan
Russian and Kyrgyz security forces freed a boy on 25 November who had been kidnapped earlier in Chally by drug traders, RIA-Novosti reported. Aleksandr Zdanovich, an official from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), told the news agency that seven-year-old Mansurshakh Ikramov was taken in Chally on 21 November. Kidnappers demanded that the parents pay a ransom of $10,000 and threatened to sell him if they did not. Zdanovich said the Russian FSB along with the Kyrgyz Security Ministry found the boy in Kyrgyzstan being held drug smugglers, rescued him, and took him to the Russian embassy in Bishkek. An FSB official said the child will be flown to Moscow on 27 November.

Federal Treasury Opens Office In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's finance minister, Robert Musin, told Interfax-AFI on 24 November that the Federal Treasury's republican office will be set up in Tatarstan in January. The news agency cited Musin as saying that employees and the head of the department are being chosen. The minister said that the department chief will most likely be appointed from the staff of Tatarstan's Treasury Department.

By Gulnara Khasanova