Talks Aim to Ease Chechnyan Conflict
Posted on Jul 24, 2009
Akhmed Zakayev, head of the Chechen government-in-exile, and Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, chairman of the Chechen parliament, met in Oslo for talks on stabilizing the situation in the breakaway Russian republic. A mediator said it marked the first time a “serious political dialogue between the Russian-installed regime in Chechnya and the government-in-exile” has occurred.
Russian forces have fought two wars against separatists in the mainly Muslim republic since 1994.
The conflicts claimed more than 100,000 lives and left it in ruins.
Mr Zakayev represents the separatists’ political wing, not the military wing that is leading the insurgency in Chechnya.
He said the two sides had “discussed political issues being solved not by force but by political means”.
AP / Morten Holm / SCANPIX
Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, left, and Akhmed Zakayev, right, share the podium with a mediator during a news conference in Oslo on Friday.