US President: Terror Challenge Makes US-Russia Cooperation Closer And More Topical

The challenge of terrorism makes cooperation between the US and Russia still closer and more urgent, said George W. Bush at a joint press conference of the Russian and US presidents in Washington. Russia and the US, according to the American leader, are in the process of transformation of their relations for the benefit of true peace and progress. They are building their relations on a new basis. The US president stressed "we are transforming our relations from those of suspicion into those based on trust. This will provide more opportunities for the peace and progress of our citizens, for nations of the entire world." According to the head of the White House, "the challenge of terrorism makes our cooperation even more urgent and pressing." Russia and America, he said, are well aware of the threat and are determined to counter it and eliminate terrorist networks wherever they are. According to George W. Bush, the first priority is to prevent terrorists from buying the weapon of mass destruction. He reported the two presidents had agreed that Russian and American experts will cooperate and share information and expertise in order to counter the threat of bioterrorism. Bush also pointed out to the necessity to increase protection of nuclear materials in order to cut off illegal trade. He also emphasized that both countries will fight organized crime and drug trafficking. Speaking on the situation around Afghanistan, the US president noted both sides were devoted to the cause of restoring that country as soon as warfare was over. Bush thinks Afghanistan's post-Taliban government should be "polyethnic." This government, he emphasized, "must not export terror and drugs, it must respect fundamental human rights."

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