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U.S.-Russia Working Group: No Taliban in Afghanistan's future

MOSCOW (CNN) -- A key working group of Russian and American diplomats says the Taliban "as a movement should have no place in future bodies of state power" in Afghanistan.

The U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan, co-chaired by Richard L. Armitage, U.S. deputy secretary of state, and V.I. Tribunikov, first deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation, made the statement in a news release Thursday.

The United States and Russia agree there should be a "broad-based, multi-ethnic government" in Afghanistan, the release said.

Both sides want an Afghanistan "free of terrorism, living in harmony with its neighbors and the international community at large and respecting international standards of behavior and human rights, including those of women and girls." At the same time, they agreed that "determining the country's future is an exclusive prerogative of the Afghan people."

The group said the two nations will take further steps to improve "bilateral and multilateral cooperation on the Afghan antiterrorist and peacemaking fronts."

And they agreed that to counter threats and challenges "such as terrorism, extremism, and the illicit drug trade, it is necessary to unite the efforts of the entire world community guided by international law and, in particular, the U.N. Charter.

"A successful battle against these global challenges requires a comprehensive strategy and long-term commitment. It is a battle against terrorism and terrorists and not with Islam."



 
 
 
 



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