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October 31, 2007

Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria


SIA CHECHENPRESS October 31, 2007



In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful!

The proclamation by Dokka Umarov of a Caucasian emirate and of himself as its Emir I see first and foremost as the personal tragedy of my former comrade-in-arms and friend. For some time I have had information that he had fallen under the influence of agents provocateurs operating with religious slogans. I knew Dokka Umarov as a talented and indomitable fighter and commander of the Chechen Armed Forces, but today to my great regret the enemies of the Chechen people have succeeded, for the purpose of abolishing the sovereignty of Chechnya, in provoking him into attempting a crime against his high office.

The Russian government, having unleashed two bloody wars against the Chechen people and having murdered, among hundreds of thousands of others, a succession of our outstanding leaders, has decided to try to achieve its squalid aims through the agency of our most recent leader. They have miscalculated, Insha’Allah. In their persecution of particular leaders, our enemies fail to understand that what guarantees the sovereignty of Chechnya is the will of the Chechen people, enshrined in the Constitution of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The validity of that Constitution does not cease on the death, incapacity or abdication of his presidential responsibilities by a leader, no matter how great his past merits may have been.

I unreservedly condemn Dokka Umarov’s statement. The purpose behind it is to reduce the legitimate struggle of the Chechen people for freedom and independence to the category of so-called international terrorism, which is completely alien both to the interests of the Chechen people and to the values of Islam.

In this new situation I consider that the Government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria of which I am a minister can no longer represent Dokka Umarov, who has chosen to abandon the duties of the presidency of the Chechen Republic and proclaimed himself Amir of all Muslims. The Government and Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria should henceforth give their allegiance directly to Parliament.

As the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and also as a citizen of the Republic I have no doubt that Parliament will undertake all measures necessary to overcome the crisis which has arisen. I call upon all my comrades-in-arms, all former and present ministers, all fighters in the Chechen Armed Forces, and all citizens of the Chechen Republic to close ranks in the face of this latest evil ploy to discredit the struggle of the Chechen people for their freedom and right to sovereignty. We must do everything possible to prevent a schism in the ranks of the Chechen Resistance.

The enemies of the Chechen people may murder or dupe particular individuals, but they will not suceed in diverting the entire Chechen nation from its chosen path of independence.

May Allah the Great come to our aid!

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria,

Akhmed Zakaev


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