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Bush Rejects Taliban Talks

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd October 2001 03:00 AM

WASHINGTON, Wednesday - US President George W. Bush on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers for talks on surrendering Osama bin Laden and warned them to turn him over or face military reprisals.

WASHINGTON, Wednesday - US President George W. Bush on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers for talks on surrendering Osama bin Laden and warned them to turn him over or face military reprisals.

WASHINGTON, Wednesday - US President George W. Bush on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers for talks on surrendering Osama bin Laden and warned them to turn him over or face military reprisals. The White House embraced British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s impassioned warning to the Islamic militia — “Surrender the terrorists or surrender power, that is your choice” — but stopped short of delivering the same ultimatum. “There is no timetable for the Taliban, just like there are no negotiations,” said Bush, who blames bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network for the terror strikes that left some 5,700 people dead or missing. “The Taliban must turn over al-Qaeda organisation (members) living within Afghanistan and must destroy the terrorist camps. And they must do so; otherwise, there will be a consequence,” he told reporters in the White House Oval Office. “We’ll act on our time, and we’ll do it in a manner that not only secures the United States as best as possible but makes the freedom in the world more likely to exist in the future,” Bush said. Earlier, the Islamic militia’s ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, told a press conference in Quetta: “We are prepared for negotiations. We will not follow war instead of negotiations.” But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said negotiations were not on the table. “The president could not have said it plainer ... no discussions, no negotiations. Action,” the spokesman said. Bush, who huddled with congressional leaders for talks on how to save the reeling US economy from plunging headlong into recession, also struck a symbolic blow in his war on terrorism by partially reopening a key Washington airport. “By opening this airport, we’re making yet another statement to the terrorists: you can’t win,” he said, surrounded by cheering airline employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport just outside the US capital. Bush declared the airport, a crucial gateway for the local economy “a national symbol” and called its partial reopening “no greater symbol that America’s back in business.” AFP Ends

Bush Rejects Taliban Talks

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