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Powell: U.S.-led coalition 'coming together'



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that an international coalition to fight terrorism is "coming together."

He said he was pleased with the outpouring of support from the world community following last Tuesday's attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York.

The State Department announced Monday that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer are scheduled to be in Washington for a Wednesday meeting with Powell.

Powell is scheduled to meet Thursday with European Union foreign ministers, including Javier Solana, high representative for common, foreign and security policy. He is due to meet Friday with Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero.

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In addition, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is scheduled to be Moscow this week for talks with Russian officials about Afghanistan, where suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden has been living as a guest of the Taliban government.

President Bush's agenda this week also includes high-level talks.

He is scheduled to meet Tuesday with French President Jacques Chirac. The meeting was scheduled before last week's attacks.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is due in Washington Thursday to talk with Bush about the attacks.

Powell: 'It's not one individual'

"We are after the al Qaeda network," Powell told reporters. "It's not one individual, it's lots of individuals, and it's lots of cells.

"Osama bin Laden is the chairman of the holding company, and within that holding company are terrorist cells and organizations in dozens of countries around the world, any one them capable of committing a terrorist act.

"It's not enough to get one individual, although we'll start with that one individual."

Bin Laden is already wanted by the United States for allegedly masterminding previous terrorist attacks through the al Qaeda network.

Pakistan delivers U.S. demands

A Pakistani delegation demanded Monday in a rare meeting with Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, that Afghanistan's hard-line leaders hand over bin Laden or face U.S. retaliation.

Omar said on Afghan radio the country's top Islamic clerics would meet Tuesday and make a decision.

Powell indicated he did not expect the Taliban to cooperate with U.S. demands to hand over bin Laden.

"The Taliban, of course, is responding in a way they always have, in that Osama bin Laden and his associates are guests in their country," he said. "Well it's time for the guests to leave."

Without elaborating on specifics, Powell said he is continuing to communicate with world leaders to assemble a coalition to form a response to international terrorism.

Powell said the coalition would be "conducting a campaign that will have many parts to it ... legal, political, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence collection and military, as appropriate."

He also said the U.S. government has received "positive signals from Iran" about cooperation in the wake of the attacks -- signals he said were "worth exploring."

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said Monday his government would support international efforts to fight terrorism but would be against U.S. military action against Afghanistan.







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