TITLE=U-S / AFGHANISTAN (L-ONLY)
INTRO: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says a
letter to the American people written by Afghanistan's
top Taleban leader is based on a misunderstanding that
he has. The letter emerged just days before U-N
sanctions are to be imposed on the Taleban for
harboring terror suspect Osama Bin Laden. From the
State Department, VOA's Kyle King reports.
TEXT: The letter written by Taleban leader, Mullah
Omar, urges the American public to pressure the U-S
government to halt what Mullah Omar calls hostile
actions against the Afghan people.
The letter says the United States will be punished by
god if it continues its campaign against the Taleban,
which controls about 90 percent of Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Albright said the United States has
no quarrel with the Afghan people.
/// ALBRIGHT ACT ///
I think the letter is based on a
misunderstanding that he has. We have nothing
against the Afghan people. We have something
against the Taliban that is suppressing its
people and has some of the most backward kinds
of policies, in terms of the way it deals with
its people, and women in particular.
/// END ACT ///
The letter by the Taleban leader comes just days
before the November 14th deadline to expel Saudi
dissident Osama Bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of
last year's deadly U-S Embassy bombings in Africa.
If Mr. Bin Laden is not turned over to another country
where he can be put on trial, sanctions will go into
effect against Taleban.
Secretary of State Albright says the United States is
concerned that the Taleban is providing a sanctuary
for Mr. Bin Laden.
/// ALBRIGHT ACT TWO ///
But we are also extremely concerned about the
fact that they continue to have in their midst
Osama Bin Laden, who is a threat to the American
people. That is what this is about. And I think
the American people understand that this is a
considerable threat and it is important for the
Untied States to have taken the action that we
have on the sanctions issue.
/// END ACT ///
U-S officials describe Mullah Omar's letter as
threatening and provocative, but they say they will
persist in their efforts to bring Mr. Osama Bin Laden
to justice. (Signed)
09-Nov-1999 18:23 PM EDT (09-Nov-1999 2323 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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