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Russian Defense Minister Calls for Closer Cooperation in War Against Terror - 2003-01-17

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov says nations involved in the fight against terrorism must work harder to safeguard dangerous weapons. If they don't, he says, there is a real risk that members of al-Qaida could gain access to nuclear devices or other weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Ivanov says without stronger safeguards, the potential threat is very real for more acts of global terrorism.

Mr. Ivanov called on members of the international anti-terror coalition to work together more closely.

Pointing to the recent arrest in London of men suspected of producing the deadly poison ricin, Mr. Ivanov said that illustrated the real threat posed by terrorists.

The Russian defense minister was speaking with reporters after talks with his Indian counterpart in Moscow.

Also on Friday, Russian officials announced that Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, will visit Moscow in early February for talks with President Putin as part of their joint working group on terrorism.