President Vladimir Putin: First of all, I would like to thank you for making a decision to gather in Moscow. This was, as you know, a common wish of the CIS heads of state as well. Because a heads of state jubilee meeting is due very soon this year and we had deemed it correct if the heads of government gathered here in Moscow. And we ask you to think about how to fill November's meeting of the heads of state.
I want to ask that special words of appreciation be conveyed to Saparmurat Niyazov for his backing this decision. I know Turkmenistan was preparing to host the meeting of the heads of state, but when I called him he said without a doubt that yes, we hadn't taken it into account that the anniversary in November would be marked in Moscow, so it was more advisable if the heads of government also met in the Russian capital.
Of course I cannot fail to say in what conditions we have gathered for work in Moscow. All of us well know and feel what the world is feeling after the catastrophe in the US, I am certain this cannot but leave its imprint on our work too.
In recent days, the CIS heads of state have held very intensive consultations with each other on defining a common stand in the struggle against international terrorism, and in defining the place of the Commonwealth's states in the international efforts to meet this threat.
It was after consultations with our counterparts – the heads of the CIS countries, and it is no secret, with the heads of the Central Asian states in the first place – that Russia defined its stand on this question.
We have agreed that we will act on a common platform, guided by common principles and common agreements.
I, by the way, the day before yesterday, in Berlin sounded this just so, and presented it exactly as our common stand. I think that the heads of government too should define themselves with the questions relating to support of the structures that have been set up to solve the problem of combating terror. I mean, above all, the Antiterrorist Center. I have a big favor to ask you – to give it attention from the viewpoint of economic support for structures of this kind, timely financing, and so on.
I must also say that our states, just as the Russian Federation itself, are a unique place, all of our states. They are multinational countries, multi-confessional ones. To us, this is not a new thesis, but still, in the context of today's talk about the struggle against terror, I once again want to underscore and outline the position of Russia.
We consider it not only counterproductive, but also harmful and indeed dangerous to confuse terror and Islam. Terrorists who use slogans as a cover, in this case Islamic slogans, have nothing in common with this world religion, however they may try to associate themselves with this.
Terrorists, as we know, can be of every ilk, of varying nationality and can profess any religion. And when we talk of pooling the efforts of the entire civilized world, we mean not least the representatives of Islam as well.
That's why we have actively backed the idea of leaders of Russian Moslem communities to hold an international conference in Moscow under the slogan ”Islam against Terror.“ And my next favor to ask you is that you discuss this with the heads of state and at your level give it support. Nothing more is required of us. As the representatives of the Moslem communities have told me, they will do everything themselves, it is a public initiative. Our job is not to interfere, and where necessary, to support.
Now directly on the themes of your meeting today.
I have already mentioned that your meeting will be held ahead of the meeting of the heads of state. Of course a jubilee is always a festive occasion, but in this case we would like to sum up the results sooner, to see what has been done and review mistakes which always rather abound in such a big task as the building of interstate relations between, without exaggeration, even if this is an old, overused word, fraternal states.
Building relations on a new basis is a large-scale action. And here, too, there may be no mistakes, they also have to be reviewed, weighed up and appraised, defining ways to overcome them, and fixing the direction of our cooperation for the medium- and long-term.
I would like that in the course of work you pay attention to this. Because without your expert appraisal here we are unlikely to succeed, indeed concrete action and concrete appraisals are required here.
Basically, that's all I've wanted to tell you.
Once again I want to greet you in Moscow and wish you successful work.
All the best!