Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, had a telephone conference this afternoon, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press and information department. Mr. Powell provided the latest information about anti-terror action and stressed US determination to bring Afghan civilian casualties down to the least possible as Taliban military projects and terrorist bases are hit. Within the last two days, Igor Ivanov was discussing developments in and round Afghanistan in telephone conferences with his counterparts of China, India, Egypt and Qatar--chair country of the League of Arab States, and with the LAS Secretary-General, says the ministry.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now