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Russian FM to visit Iran soon

TEHRAN, April 1 (AFP) - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is to visit Iran in the "near future" for talks on strengthening ties, the official IRNA news agency reported Thursday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov announced the visit during talks in Moscow on Wednesday with his Iranian counterpart Morteza Sarmadi.

Mamedov said Moscow would "continue efforts to end the Kosovo crisis" adding that Iran, as chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, could play a "highly constructive" role in global developments, IRNA reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi asked Russia at the weekend to intervene with the Yugoslav government to end the repression of Moslems in Kosovo.

Earlier this month, Moscow announced it had decided to cut back nuclear cooperation with Iran and expected the United States to lift sanctions against Russian institutes accused of supplying Tehran with sensitive technical know-how.

The United States has opposed Moscow's decision to develop a nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Gulf.

Tehran has said it is nevertheless confident its nuclear cooperation with Moscow would continue.


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