Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 35

On September 26, the head of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was continuing visits to four Middle Eastern countries, met with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and delivered to the Iraqi chief of state a personal message from President Vladimir Putin. During their conversation, Kadyrov asked Hussein to help facilitate a process whereby members of the Chechen diaspora living in Iraq would work to convince separatists living in Chechnya to cease their resistance to Russia and to turn in their weapons. Following this meeting, the Iraqi foreign minister, Naji Sabri Ahmad al-Hadithi, affirmed that the government of Iraq wholeheartedly endorsed Russia’s stance on the Chechnya problem. “Chechnya is an integral part of the Russian Federation, and we fully respect Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemn any attempts to destroy that sovereignty,” the foreign minister underscored (RIA Novosti, September 26). On September 27, Kadyrov completed his three-day visit to Iraq and flew to the Jordanian capital of Amman. “Kadyrov’s objective in Jordan,” it was reported, “is to enlist local leaders to help Russia settle the Chechen conflict. The objective is to persuade the country’s leadership to urge the local Chechen diaspora to address separatists and to ask them to stop military action against Russia’s federal forces in Chechnya” (RIA Novosti, September 27).