During the first week of aerial strikes in Afghanistan the military potential of the Taliban has been appreciably downsized and several Al Qaeda terrorist training camps destroyed, said Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to the American president, in an exclusive interview to the Izvestia newspaper. Her interview will be published on Monday. "We have given to understand to the Taliban leadership that it has taken an utterly wrong decision and given a hiding to bin Laden, she said. Aerial strikes are only part of a drawn-out campaign, said Rice. We are making efforts to end financial feeding for terrorists, she continued. Terrorist cells are scattered in many countries and we have to unite the efforts of law-enforcement structures of many states to uproot these cells. Condoleezza Rice noted that President George W. Bush has repeatedly said that he has enough patience to carry on this long struggle. She also said that, simultaneously with hostilities, the United States conducts a humanitarian operation in Afghanistan. Here, cooperation with Russia is very important for us, stressed Rice. The U.S. presidential aide declared that "we give to understand in every way that it is not a war against the people of Afghanistan, who passed through many sufferings in the past. We are concerned over the fate of the peaceful population," said she.
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