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Following is the text of a U.S.-Russia joint statement following the conclusion today in Moscow of the session of the U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan:
"The U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan, co-chaired by Richard L. Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and V.I. Trubnikov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, held its fifth session in Moscow on November 1, 2001. The two delegations noted the extraordinary depth and breadth of cooperation and consultation between the Russian Federation and the United States.
The United States provided detailed information on the progress and results of Operation Enduring Freedom to eradicate terrorist organizations with global reach, including al-Qaida, and to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a safe haven by terrorists. The Russian Federation confirmed its preparedness to continue interaction with the United States within the parameters defined in the Statement of the President of the Russian Federation of September 24, 2001.
The U.S. and Russia agreed that in order to effectively counter transnational 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 UN 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.
The U.S. and Russia agreed that overcoming instability in Afghanistan requires a comprehensive settlement of the protracted internal conflict in Afghanistan and the formation in the country of a broad-based, multi-ethnic government. They confirm their commitment to the objective of restoring a peaceful and independent 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. They reiterated the central role of the United Nations in international efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict.
In the context of the discussion of further joint and parallel steps to assist postconflict settlement in Afghanistan, the sides confirmed that determining the country's future is an exclusive prerogative of the Afghan people. The sides agreed that the Taliban as a movement should have no place in future bodies of state power in that country.
The United States and Russia call for increasing international humanitarian assistance to the population of Afghanistan and agreed to coordinate further actions in that area.
They also agreed to further joint and parallel steps to improve bilateral and multilateral cooperation on the Afghan antiterrorist and peacemaking fronts.
The next session of the bilateral Working Group will take place in January in Washington, DC."
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