The discussion focused on Iraq.
The President said the US-British military operation against Saddam Hussein’s regime, which was launched on March 19, was acquiring a crueler and lingering character. The number of victims had multiplied, destruction had increased and the number of prisoners of war had grown. The region is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. The war and its consequences have exceeded that of a local conflict.
In such conditions, he said, the only right decision would be an immediate end to the hostilities and a return to the process of political settlement within the framework of the UN Security Council.
Russia was ready to cooperate in achieving these goals with all the parties involved in the conflict, including the United States, all the more so as the current level of Russian-US relations has good reasons to continue the dialogue on the issue, the President said.
State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov, and the leaders of the State Duma Factions, Vladimir Pekhtin of Unity, Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party, Vyacheslav Volodin of Fatherland – All Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the LDPR, Boris Nemtsov of the SPS, Grigory Yavlinsky of Yabloko, Nikolai Kharitonov of the Agro-Industrial Party, Gennady Raikov of People’s Deputy and Oleg Morozov of Russia’s Regions, attended the meeting.