An envoy sent by Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Chechnya arrived in Qatar Friday on the first leg of a three-nation Gulf tour, the official QNA agency reported.
Russian secret services last December accused Qatar of being the main financial backer of Chechen rebels, and of supporting "Islamist extremists everywhere in the world."
The Russian foreign ministry said the visit by Farit Gazizullin, Russian Minister of State Property, to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain was to inform the three countries' leaders of "the economic and political situation in Russia, in particular in the northern Caucasus."
Another Russian envoy, Ramazan Abdulatipov, visited Saudi Arabia in March where he said that charges that Saudi Arabia was assisting Chechen rebels were completely baseless.
The Gulf Arab countries have consistently expressed concern about the Russian offensive against rebels in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, and many have sent humanitarian aid to Chechen refugees – DOHA (AFP)
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