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UK: QUEEN ELIZABETH AND VLADIMIR PUTIN EXPRESS CONDOLENCES WITH LOSS OF SIX BRITISH TROOPS IN IRAQ.
At a Buckingham Palace state banquet in honour of
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, British Queen Elizabeth II
said the death of six British soldiers near Basra was a
reminder of the difficulties still to be faced in Iraq.
In her banquet speech, the Queen sought to heal the rift with Russia and President Putin who had opposed military action by Britain and America in Iraq.
Britain and Russia were now able to work together with Iraq under the banner of the United Nations, she said.
"Mr President, it is I believe a sign of genuine friendship that we are able to have disagreements, but remain firm partners," the Queen said.
"It is no secret that there were significant differences between our two countries earlier this year on how best to handle Iraq.
"But we are now able to look forward together, firmly in agreement on the route we have decided in the United Nations, although the tragic loss of British lives today reminds us all of the difficulties to be faced. But, as we look ahead, we know that our long-term partnership is of profound importance to both of us." The Queen told her VIP Russian guest: "My message to you, Mr President, is therefore one of admiration, respect and support." Tuesday (June 24) evening's white-tie banquet came at the end of the opening day of the first state visit by a Russian leader since 1874 when Tsar Alexander II came to Britain.
Some 170 people attended the state banquet, including Britain's astronaut Helen Sharman.
Senior Royals attending, with the Queen and Prince Philip, were the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.
Guests at the banquet, held in the Palace Ballroom, were served truffles, poached salmon, baby chicken in champagne and a cherry liqueur dessert, plus a selection of five wines.
The banquet china was 18th-century Sevres plates and a Tournai service. Cutlery was by Paul Storr of Rundle Bridge and Rundle made for George IV. Table glass was fluted Stourbridge English cut crystal, made for the Queen's Coronation in 1953 and hand-engraved with the cypher "E II R".
A military orchestra of the Welsh Guards, perched in the Musicians' Gallery overlooking the Ballroom, played a programme of music, including some of a Russian flavour - Shostakovich, Prokofieff and Kabalevsky - as well as a Best of the Beatles medley.
|Source||POOL WORLD 8 24 JUNE 2003 EDIT: 246|
|Restrictions||Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.|
|Time code||11.45.37 - 11.48.41|
|Date original||JUNE 24, 2003|
|Location||BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Sound||NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH|
|(U7) BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 24, 2003) (POOL - ACCESS ALL)|
|1.||TV: WIDE OF BANQUET||0.07|
|2.||MV: DRUM ROLL / QUEEN ELIZABETH II STANDS UP||0.15|
|3.||MV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) QUEEN ELIZABETH II SAYING: "Mr President, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you and Mrs Putina to London. By coming here, you give Prince Philip and me a chance to repay the generous hospitality given to us on my state visit to Russia in 1994 and to underline once more the close friendship between our two countries."||0.41|
|4.||TV: WIDE OF QUEEN SPEAKING||0.43|
|5.||MV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) QUEEN ELIZABETH II SAYING: "Those of my generation in Britain have special cause to remember the unimaginable sacrifice the Russian people made to defeat fascism in the Second World War. Nothing, not even the fact that our countries became estranged in the war's aftermath, has ever dimmed our memory of the scale of your loss."||1.08|
|6.||TV: WIDE OF QUEEN SPEAKING||1.13|
|7.||MV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) QUEEN ELIZABETH II SAYING: "Mr President, it is - I believe - a sign of genuine friendship that we are able to have disagreements, but remain firm partners. It is no secret that there were significant differences between our two countries earlier this year on how best to handle Iraq, but we are now able to look forward together firmly in agreement on the route we have decided in the United Nations, although the tragic loss of British lives today reminds us all of the difficulties to be faced."||1.53|
|8.||LV/SCU/TV: GUESTS STAND FOR RUSSIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM (4 SHOTS)||2.23|
|9.||MV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SAYING: "Before I proceed to the formal part, I would like to express to Her Majesty the Queen and the people of the United Kingdom our sincere condolences with the loss of the British soldiers in Iraq. It is clear for everyone that, in spite of the differences that existed before, today we need to act jointly."||2.52|
|10.||MV: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER READING ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF PUTIN'S SPEECH||2.58|
|11.||LV: PUTIN SPEAKING||3.04|
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
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