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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraq's Aziz in Moscow For Sanctions Talks

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz arrived in Moscow Tuesday for talks with senior officials on Iraq's vexed relations with the United Nations and ending sanctions against it.

Aziz was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that so far talks on ending a decade of sanctions, imposed over its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, had made little progress.

Russia has played a key role in seeking the lifting of sanctions, while trying to persuade Iraq to cooperate with the United Nations in allowing inspectors to complete checks into whether it holds weapons of mass destruction.

"In the course of talks, (Russian Foreign Minister Igor) Ivanov and Aziz will touch on questions of solving Iraqi problems, as well as Russian-Iraqi cooperation in the U.N. humanitarian programme for Iraq and the post-sanctions period," Interfax quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Sredin as saying.

Sredin is also Russian President Vladimir Putin's special Middle East envoy.

Sredin said Russia saw the promotion of renewed cooperation between the United Nations and Iraq on guaranteed and long-term disarmament as a priority, leading to an end of sanctions.

"There is a principle agreement on starting a dialogue (with the U.N.) on a whole range of issues in the Iraqi problem (but) in practical terms talks have not yet started," Aziz was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.

Aziz arrived from Beijing, where he got Chinese support for ending sanctions.

Russia is one of several countries to have sent planes to Baghdad carrying what officials say are humanitarian shipments to help ordinary Iraqis suffering under the sanctions.