Putin, Schroeder Don't Share Pessimistic Viewpoints On Afghan Counter-terror Operation

President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder don't share pessimistic opinions of the counter-terrorist operation now being conducted on Afghan territory. Putin negotiated with Schroeder here November 2, subsequently noting that he disagreed with statements to the effect that the Afghan situation was not developing in line with the anti-terrorist coalition's wishes. According to Putin, no one had promised any victory parade in Afghanistan. President George Bush Jr. of the United States has said that a long-term struggle will be waged against terrorism, and that such a struggle might cause loss of life. In his words, the United States and the northern alliance of Afghanistan are trying to save civilians; still this serves to hinder the pace of operations. Russia and Germany share virtually identical opinions of the Afghan situation, Putin stressed. For his own part, Schroeder noted that our two countries agreed that one must fight terrorism; moreover, they would like the anti-terrorist coalition to preserve its unity. Moreover, Afghanistan's post-Talib government, which should be established under UN auspices, should rely on the representatives of all national ethnic groups, Schroeder stressed.

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