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DATE=4/14/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248081 TITLE=U-S / AFGHANISTAN (L-ONLY) BYLINE=DAVID SWAN DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF RENEWED WARFARE IN AFGHANISTAN, AFTER THE FAILURE OF TALKS BETWEEN THE RULING TALEBAN AND THE OPPOSITION. CORRESPONDENT DAVID SWAN REPORTS FROM CAPITOL HILL. TEXT: ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE KARL INDERFURTH GAVE SENATORS A MOSTLY GLOOMY ASSESSMENT OF THE AFGHAN SITUATION (WEDNESDAY). HE SAYS A NEW OUTBREAK OF FIGHTING IS THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO, WITH TALEBAN FORCES APPARENTLY GEARING UP TO STRIKE THE OPPOSITION ALLIANCE COMMANDED BY AHMED SHAH MASOOD. // INDERFURTH ACT // BASED ON THEIR AGGRESSIVE RHETORIC, WHICH IS AGGRESSIVE EVEN FOR THEM, THE TALEBAN SEEM TO BE READYING THEIR FIGHTERS FOR AN ALL-OUT BLITZ ON THE BATTLEFIELD. MASOOD IS NO DOUBT READY FOR THAT. HE HAS BEEN FIGHTING FOR ALMOST 25-YEARS NOW. // END ACT // THE OPPOSITION HAS ISSUED A SIMILAR WARNING OF AN IMPENDING ALL- OUT CONFLICT. THE TWO SIDES RECENTLY HELD THEIR FIRST FACE-TO-FACE CONTACTS IN ALMOST A YEAR, BUT THE PROCESS BROKE DOWN. THE TALEBAN DECLARED LAST WEEK IT WILL NOT TAKE PART IN ANOTHER ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS. MR. INDERFURTH CALLED ON THE GROUP TO RECONSIDER. HE ALSO FLATLY REJECTED CHARGES BY CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER THAT THE ADMINISTRATION SECRETLY WANTS THE TALEBAN TO RETAIN POWER, TO KEEP THE COUNTRY STABLE. // ROHRABACHER ACT // WE HAVE A CHOICE BETWEEN BELIEVING THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY TOWARD AFGHANISTAN HAS BEEN INCOMPETENT BEYOND BELIEF OR DIRECTED AT ACHIEVING A COVERT PURPOSE. // END ACT // MR. ROHRABACHER ACCUSED STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS OF HIDING THE TRUTH FROM CONGRESS. MR. INDERFURTH DISMISSED THE ALLEGATIONS AS MISINFORMED AND UNHELPFUL. (SIGNED) NEB/DS/RAE 14-Apr-99 1:40 PM EDT (1740 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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