Chechen President Arrives On 4-Day Visit

RIYADH, 15 January 2004 — Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov arrived in Jeddah yesterday on a four-day official visit to the Kingdom, according to Russian diplomats here.

President Kadyrov, who will also visit Riyadh, is scheduled to hold talks with many senior Saudi officials during his trip, including Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard.

“It is a landmark visit intended to boost bilateral links,” said an embassy spokesman who added that Russia was home to millions of Muslims.

Kadyrov, who is accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, will discuss Saudi assistance to Chechnya.

According to Edi Isayev, the head of the information department at the Chechen Moscow mission, President Kadyrov will also discuss “deliveries to Chechnya of mini-oil refineries, medical equipment and medicines and organization of trade and small business in Chechnya with Saudi help.” The president will ask Saudi leaders to help restore peace in his country and in the region.

Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of those offering aid and assistance to Chechnya. The Saudi Red Crescent Society recently distributed 3,200 food baskets and 27,000 loaves of bread to refugees in the Kingdom’s camp in Ingushia.

The Saudi Red Crescent Society, an affiliate of the Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya, has recently opened a new school in its camp in Ingushia for the children of Chechen refugees, according to a report published recently.

The report said that all school’s requirements had been provided in collaboration with UNICEF and that the society would pay the salaries of eight teachers. The society has also inaugurated the first round-the-clock medical service in the camp for Chechen refugees.

There are some 250,000 Chechen refugees which has prompted many Islamic nations to support them within the Russian legal system.

Referring to talks between Saudi and Chechen officials, Isayev said that the two sides would discuss a range of bilateral issues with special reference to Saudi-Russian relations.

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