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Press Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
August 2, 2000

U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan

The U.S.-Russia working group on Afghanistan met in Washington August 1 - 2, 2000. The meetings took place at the suggestion of Secretary of State Albright and Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov, to whom the working group will report, pursuant to discussions between Presidents Clinton and Putin at their Moscow summit in June about exploring ways to stem the threats to the international community from Taliban support for terrorist activities.

The Washington meetings were co-chaired by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas R. Pickering and First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov and involved participation from experts in both governments. The U.S. and Russian sides reviewed the threat posed to regional and international stability by Taliban support for terrorism. They explored bilateral, regional, and multilateral options for addressing that threat.

The U.S. and Russia renewed their condemnation of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and reiterated their determination to cooperate in countering it. They called for full implementation of UNSCR 1267 and for support for further measures against the Taliban, in view of their refusal to implement that resolution. The U.S. and Russia also condemned the Taliban's promotion of the illicit production and trafficking of drugs in territory under their control and the use of drug profits to support terrorism. The two sides noted that a multifaceted approach, drawing upon diplomatic, law enforcement, and other legal means, is required to counter the threat of international terrorism from Afghanistan and to create conditions for Afghans to establish a broad-based government in that country. They agreed that continued cooperation between their governments is necessary to promote that approach.

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