31/10/2014 10:28
RIA Novosti

Russia

Exiled Chechen Zakayev hopes to return to motherland

20:16 17/02/2009
MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) -- Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, who lives in self-imposed exile in Britain, said on Tuesday he was resolved to return to Chechnya and "work for a lasting peace" in the region.

"I will definitely return to my motherland. I cannot abide the idea of living in a foreign land either for myself or for my children and grandchildren," he said in an interview on Radio Echo Moskvy.

He said, however, that Chechnya had still a long way to go to "stability and prosperity," adding that stability in the region would not come until "the relationship between Chechnya and Russia is straightened out."

Zakayev said in January he was open for dialogue with any party, including Chechnya's government and president.

He dismissed on Tuesday claims made by Russia's Federal Security Service that he "has been attempting to revive the militant movement" in the North Caucasus, reiterating that he was ready for talks with President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov welcomed Zakayev's stated intention to return to his homeland.

"I approve of Zakayev's determination to return to Chechnya. I am sure that he has made the right decision and will be able to find a place in Chechen society," the Chechen president said on Tuesday.

A Kadyrov spokesman has previously said Chechen authorities were ready for dialogue with Zakayev, stressing that Zakayev had "rejected terrorist methods of resistance" and was not linked to any serious crimes.

Russia has repeatedly asked Britain to extradite Zakayev, accused of terrorist activities, but the request has invariably been refused.

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RIA NovostiExiled Chechen Zakayev hopes to return to motherland

20:16 17/02/2009 Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, who lives in self-imposed exile in Britain, said on Tuesday he was resolved to return to Chechnya and "work for a lasting peace" in the region. >>

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