Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Powell says Negotiate With Terrorists - Modern Day Neville Chamberlain

Welcome to AJC!:

Like a modern day Neville Chamberlain Secretary of State Powell begs Putin to Negotiate With Terrorists. JBOC

"U.S. Calls for Diplomacy With Chechens

AP Photo MOSB119

AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON AP)--The Bush administration differed Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that only a political settlement could end the crisis between Russia and the breakaway region of Chechnya.

The administration also left open the possibility of U.S. meetings with Chechens who are not linked to terrorists.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage signed a book of condolences at the Russian Embassy over the deaths of at least 330 people, most of them children, during a hostage-taking last week at a school in the southern city of Beslan.

And, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that in response to a request from the Russian government, two C-130 cargo planes had flown medical supplies worth about $580,000, which were stockpiled in Germany, to Russia and planned an additional flight from Italy.

Also, U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow released in Moscow $50,000 in emergency assistance, Boucher said.

In an interview Monday with a group of foreign journalists and academics, Putin rejected Western calls for negotiations with Chechen rebel representatives, Britain's Guardian and Independent newspapers reported.

``Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?'' the Guardian quoted Putin as saying sarcastically.

``You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?''

Putin said foreigners should have ``no more questions about our policy in Chechnya'' after the attackers shot children in the back, and said the Chechen cause was aimed at undermining all of southern Russia and majority-Muslim regions of the country.

Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said Tuesday that ``our view on the overall situation has not changed.'' That is, he said, ultimately ``there must be a political settlement'' over Chechnya."