DAILY NEWS BULLETIN 17.02.2003
Unofficial translation from Russian
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov Meets with Alvaro Gil-Robles, the Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner
On February 15 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov received the Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner, Mr. Alvaro Gil-Robles, who is staying on an official visit to our country.
In the course of the meeting an exchange of views on matters coming within the scope of activity of the Council of Europe Commissioner took place. Ivanov and Gil-Robles discussed the socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the Chechen Republic, as well as the questions of cooperation by Russia with the Council of Europe in the human rights domain.
Ivanov informed the Commissioner of the efforts by the Russian leadership, aimed at a political resolution of the situation in Chechnya. The importance of holding a referendum on a Constitution of the Chechen Republic in March and subsequently forming legitimate bodies of power was underscored in this context.
The Commissioner shared his impressions of his trip to the North Caucasus where he met with head of the Administration of the Chechen Republic A.-Kh. A. Kadyrov, and officers of the Unified Group of Forces, familiarized himself with the work of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms, A.-Kh. A. Sultygov, and the experts of the Council of Europe working in his Bureau, held conversations with members of the Election Commission of the Chechen Republic and visited temporary accommodation centers for internally displaced persons. Minister of the Russian Federation S. V. Ilyasov, who accompanied the Commissioner in the trip to the North Caucasus, acquainted him with the course of housing construction for returnees.
The Commissioner informed Ivanov of the results of his conversation with President of the Republic of Ingushetia M. M. Zyazikov and meetings with the representatives of non-governmental human rights organizations.
The high level of cooperation by the Russian side with the Commissioner of the Council of Europe was noted and hope for its continuation was expressed.
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