Germany, Russia, France tocooperate against terrorism

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2004 , SOCHI - Germany, France and Russia agreed to cooperate more closely in the fight against terrorism during a three-way summit in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday. In their meeting French President Jacques Chirac, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also expressed concern over the Iran's nuclear policy and discussed Russian relations with the European Union. The summit took place in the wake of the bombing of two Russian planes last week,

31 August 2004  

SOCHI - Germany, France and Russia agreed to cooperate more closely in the fight against terrorism during a three-way summit in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

In their meeting French President Jacques Chirac, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also expressed concern over the Iran's nuclear policy and discussed Russian relations with the European Union.

The summit took place in the wake of the bombing of two Russian planes last week, which left 90 people dead.

Schroeder pledged that Germany's intelligence services would support Russia in fighting the Chechen rebels, which have been blamed for the attacks following initial investigations.

However, he refrained from criticizing Moscow for its role in Sunday's Chechen presidential elections which were seriously flawed and undemocratic, according to comments by the United Stated and Britain Monday.

Instead, Schroeder said he hoped that president-elect Alu Alkhanov, who had been strongly promoted by Russia, would work towards a political solution in the conflict between the Moscow- backed government and rebels fighting for independence.

Putin commented that Alkhanov's victory in the polls proved that Chechnya's population wanted to stay within Russia. Alkhanov has already rejected talks with the rebels.

The Russian president also said "destructive elements in Chechnya are linked to international terrorism."

Putin said: "An international al-Qaeda linked terror cell has claimed responsibility for blowing up two aircraft," referring to an admission of responsibility posted on the internet by the Pakistan- based Islamic group called "Al-Qaeda's Islambouli Brigade."

The two planes were brought down within one hour of each other by bombs onboard, according to Russia's intelligence service. Two Chechen women on board the planes have been named as suspects.

During their summit, the three leaders also reiterated their objections to Iran's nuclear policy.

"The international community should not allow Iran to own nuclear weapons," Schroeder stressed after the meeting, adding that Teheran had to comply with demands by the International Nuclear Energy Agency.

However, Schroeder also said Germany had no objections against the completion of building works for Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant, despite US fears that Teheran could use its nuclear technology to build nuclear weapons.

The French President appealed for the release of two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq. Paris would continue its efforts to secure their release, said Chirac who had arrived late at the summit because of the hostage crisis.

However, he added France would not give in to the kidnappers' demand and be blackmailed to lift a ban on Moslems wearing headscarves in French schools. The ban comes into effect Thursday when French schools reopen after summer holidays.

Chirac, Putin and Schroeder had first met in a special summit in April 2003 to declare their joint opposition to the US-led war on Iraq.

In Sochi, they also discussed Russian relation with the enlarged European Union, with Schroeder emphasizing that Europe needed a strategic relationship with Moscow.

Putin pledged to increase Russian oil exports to Europe by almost 30 million tons this year.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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