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Russia doing all at can to avert possibility of US strike on Iraq
Russian news agency RIA

Abu-Dabi, 2 December: Russia is convinced that Iraq played no part in the 11 September terrorist attacks on the USA, stated Russian Foreign Ministry envoy Nikolay Kartuzov at a news conference in Amman late on Saturday [1 December] evening after talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abd-al-Ilah al-Khatib.

Kartuzov said that Moscow is doing all it can to dissuade the US administration from launching new air strikes against Iraq. The latter could bring catastrophic results and destroy international efforts in the search for an all-embracing solution to the Iraqi problem, emphasized the Russian diplomat.

Kartuzov stated that he is sure that the USA has no proofs of a connection between Iraq and what happened in New York and Washington and no evidence that Iraq is involved with terrorism.

Kartuzov connected the possibility of a [US] strike on Iraq with the tense situation in the Palestinian territories, and pointed out that a strike on Iraq and a further escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could give rise to a situation fraught with unpredictable consequences for the entire Middle East.

For his part, al-Khatib stated that he sees a resumption of the dialogue between Baghdad and UN General Secretary Koffi Annan as possible path to resolving the crisis situation with Iraq.

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