Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon dear friends!
Our meeting is taking place during one of the most important Muslim holidays – Kurban Bairam (Eid al-Adha). At the beginning of our meeting I would like to give my best wishes to you and to all Russian Muslims celebrating this holiday, and wish all the Muslims of our country happiness and well-being.
I know that in your prayers, sermons and dialogues with people you always return to Islam's very fundamentals and Islam, like all peaceful religions, is based on kindness, on faith in kindness. I am absolutely convinced that our common faith in kindness, in justice and in our unity is the very best way to strengthen our country.
I would like to thank you for this. I would like once again to congratulate you and to wish you all the best. I wish you happiness and well-being!
Talgat Tadzhuddin: We transmitted and read your greeting to believing Muslims. And millions and millions of devout Muslims convey to you their kindest greetings and wishes. The New Year, Christmas and Kurban Bairam almost coincide; they are very close together and have formed a real 'holy trinity'.
Ravil Gainutdin: For our part we would also like to wish you all the best on the holidays, and a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas. Today this great Islamic holiday is celebrated by all of our peoples and I consider it our shared holiday. They are watching us on television. Our fellow citizens understand us. All our addresses are undoubtedly made so that Russian citizens understand what we want to say. And we want to say that Islam, our religion, is a peaceful and kind religion. In your speeches you draw a great deal of attention to Islam and the fact that Russia is a friend of Muslim states. Your words are listened to with great attention say and there is hope that Russia will strengthen its ties with the Islamic world. As a part of the Islamic world, we remain citizens, love our country and want to live in peace and harmony as the neighbours of our Christian and Jewish brothers. And by the grace of God we are able to do so. We have lived in harmony for centuries. Today we cooperate so that there is peace, stability and serenity in this country. Such as when you spoke in Chechnya and said that for Muslim countries Russia always acted as a guarantor of stability on our continent.
We all value very highly the fact that today Russian is developing friendly ties with our brotherly republics of the former Soviet Union. Both with Azerbaijan and with Kazakhstan, where we know you are planning a trip. Today we also sent greeting to Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbaev and through you we would like to transmit to him our best wishes on behalf of all Russian Muslims and our wishes for his success, just we would like to transmit our wishes to you, Mr President. May Allah give you health, may Allah give you success. And you know that as Muslims we support all your efforts designed to keep peace, friendship, stability and cooperation between our peoples and our religions.
We thank you for paying attention to our problems and that you are ready to solve them with together with us. Many thanks for today's reception and greeting.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Ismail Berdiev: The situation in the Caucasus is now quieter, more stable. Thank you for having chosen the right policies. In mosques when people pray they already have started to ask, to pray for the President, to pray that everything works out for him. So that, by Allah, everything works out, everything is good.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Today we said that our holidays coincided. In any case New Year, Christmas and today's holiday, Kurban Bairam, are very close in time. I know that Islamic clerics attended Christmas services. I know that Orthodox priests attended the events celebrating Islamic holidays. I talked to the Patriarch Aleksei II literally the other day. I know that he has excellent relations with his Muslim brothers. And this is very good.
However, there remains a serious issue that we discussed today at the meeting with Cabinet Members, namely the return of pilgrims who were in Mecca. There are problems linked with infectious diseases, with avian flu, and with intergovernmental communications. Some countries have closed their borders. And we must resolve the problem of the safe, timely, trouble-free return of our citizens to the Russian Federation, to their homes. We must make sure that this takes place as comfortably as possible for them and without any problems. The Government is taking necessary measures through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And I hope that this will be done in contact with you so that no problems arise. We must help these people return home.