Saturday, January 24, 2004

Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov denounces Iraq war: "'The realities of the post-war situation in Iraq are the destruction of national statehood and the resulting legal vacuum, along with the rampage of violence and crime,' said the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, in a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of the U.S.-led war to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. 'All this provides breeding ground for extremism and terrorism and moreover threatens Iraq with a break-up along ethnic and confessional lines. Iraq has become a pulling ground for terrorist groups from across the Middle East (West Asia).'

"Mr. Ivanov quoted Mahatma Gandhi's words that if violence yielded any good, it was short-lived, whereas the harm it did would stay for long. 'There are reasons to fear that Iraq's internal crisis may merge with other hotbeds of instability in the region, above all the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,' Mr. Ivanov writes... Moscow continues to stick to its view that 'no legal grounds existed for the use of force against Iraq' and that 'Iraq presented no direct threat to the security of either the United States or any other nation'."

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