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  Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Russia demands the immediate release of its diplomats taken hostage in Iraq and prevention of any harm to them
Russia demands the immediate release of its diplomats taken hostage in Iraq and prevention of any harm to them, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The Russian side responded in full seriousness to the reports Russian diplomats were seized by the Mujahedeen Shura Council,” he said. “We have been checking and re-checking this information using all channels and making contacts every hour with the purpose of establishing the whereabouts of our men. We hope that the efforts will yield results,” Lavrov said. “I am calling for the early release of our people and the prevention of any harm to their health,” Lavrov said. “One should not forget that Russia is a sincere friend of the Iraqi people and it has done everything in its powers to prevent the situation Iraq has found itself in now. Holding a grudge against Russia and taking our people hostage by no means meets the interests of the Iraqi people and is simply unfair,” the Russian foreign minister said. In the meantime, the head of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, has described as “looking not very true” reports stating that the Mujahedeen Shura Council was responsible for the abduction of Russian diplomats. “I do not believe that such reports herald the beginning of negotiations,” he told the media. The legislator described as “dynamic” the way the affair involving the abducted Russian diplomats in Baghdad was unfolding. “I know that the secret services work round the clock. It is most important now not to intervene,” he said.
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