Baker to Make More Trips for Iraq Debt Relief

Presidential envoy James A. Baker III (search), just back from Europe, plans more trips to foreign capitals seeking help in reducing Iraq's debt burden.

Baker was meeting Friday with President Bush at the White House after returning from his most recent stop in Russia.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin (search) said he was ready to begin discussions on easing Iraq's debts to Russia. Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said Russia's position will be influenced by the fate of Russian companies and economic interests in Iraq.

State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said Baker's visits to France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Russia went well.

"We are pleased that all these countries have agreed to work with us on an issue as important to the future of the Iraqi people as debt relief," Ereli said.

France, Germany and Russia all opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The spokesman said Baker plans consultations in additional countries, but he didn't say which. There have been media reports that a trip to Japan is upcoming.