12 December 2005, 15:43
Russia a consistent, loyal supporter of Islam – Putin
Grozny, December 12, Interfax - The Russian Federation has always been the most loyal and consistent advocate of Islam, President Vladimir Putin said in the Chechen parliament in Grozny on Monday.
"I want to remind those who are on the other side, those who allegedly defend Islam, that the Russian Federation has always been the most consistent, loyal and staunch advocate of Islam," Putin said.
"Russia was and remains the best partner of Islamic states," he said.
"The leaders of key international Islamic organizations understand this perfectly well. That's why they sent their representatives to the Chechen presidential and parliamentary elections," he said.
"Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference have decided that Russia will work with the organization on a permanent basis," Putin said. "I also want to remind you that our delegation took active part in the recent international Islamic conference in Saudi Arabia," he said.
"We are burdened with many problems and tasks. We should persuade those who have not yet laid down their arms that they are following false ideals," he said.
"Naturally, certain compromises are necessary, but I must remark that at times it is somewhat difficult for people from the Caucasus to compromise," he said.
"People who misinterpret the Koran do not represent the interests of the North Caucasus at all," he said.
"They tried to discredit the Koran," Putin said. "People who have made a conscious decision that it is possible to be free only with a free country and a free people have made the right choice," he said.