For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002
Joint Statement on Counterterrorism Cooperation
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin on Counterterrorism Cooperation
Reaffirming our commitment expressed on October 21, 2001 to fight terrorism in all its forms wherever it may occur, we commend the efforts of the worldwide coalition against terrorism since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The member nations of the coalition must continue their concerted action to deny safe haven to terrorists; to destroy their financial, logistical, communications, and other operational networks; and to bring terrorists to justice. We note with satisfaction that U.S.-Russia counterterrorism cooperation is making an important contribution to the global coalition against terrorism.
A successful campaign against terrorism must be conducted by nations through bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation, and requires a multifaceted approach that employs law enforcement, intelligence, diplomatic, political, and economic actions. We stress that initiatives against terrorism must be conducted in an atmosphere of rule of law and with respect for universal human rights.
Recognizing the importance of multilateral counterterrorism efforts, such as those under the auspices of the United Nations, the Group of Eight, the European Union, the OSCE, the "Six Plus Two" group, and NATO-Russia, we encourage the further development of regional counterterrorism initiatives, including within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its cooperation with the United States, that improve information-sharing, law enforcement cooperation, and border security. Of these institutions, we note that the UN Security Council Counterterrorism Committee plays a key coordinating role in the struggle against international terrorism. In support of regional cooperation, the United States is sponsoring a counterterrorism conference in June 2002 to include participation from the Central Asian and Caucasus states, Afghanistan, Turkey, China, and Russia.
We call upon all nations to implement fully the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 1368, 1373, 1377 and 1390, directed against terrorism, the Taliban, and al-Qaida, and to become parties at the earliest opportunity to the twelve international antiterrorism conventions, including the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The United States supports conclusion of the Russian-proposed nuclear terrorism convention, and joins Russia in urging other nations to enlist in the efforts to resolve the outstanding issues related to the text. We call upon all nations to take steps to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on money laundering and terrorist financing. We shall work to block the financial assets of named terrorists and their organizations without delay.
We underscore the need to bring to a logical conclusion efforts to eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan related to Usama Bin Laden, the al-Qaida organization, and the Taliban. Afghanistan should never again be a haven for terrorism. Reaffirming our support for the important role of the UN in efforts to implement successfully the Bonn Agreement, including the upcoming Loya Jirga, we share a vision of a stable, independent Afghanistan at peace with its neighbors and the rest of the world and on the road to a more prosperous future.
We recognize the links between illegal drug trafficking and terrorism and stress the importance of U.S.-Russia cooperation on counternarcotics. Both our countries are dedicated to continuing their support for regional initiatives, such as those of the "Six Plus Two" Working Group on Drugs, to encourage cooperation among member countries and to strengthen their counternarcotics capabilities. We both strongly support the Afghan Interim Authority's plan to implement its poppy ban.
Believing that the sovereignty, long-term stability, prosperity, and further democratic development of the states of Central Asia serve the strategic interests of the United States and Russia, we pledge transparency and cooperation in our relations with the states of Central Asia. An important step for ensuring their security is to eradicate terrorist activities in Afghanistan once and for all and to assist in the prevention of their reoccurrence.
We reaffirm our commitment to working with the Government of Georgia on counterterrorism issues, while upholding Georgian sovereignty, and hope that the presence of terrorists in this country will be eliminated. As members of the Friends of the UN Secretary-General on Georgia, the United States and Russia remain committed to advancing a peaceful, political resolution of the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We pledge to work closely with all relevant parties to these conflicts to reduce military tensions, address civilians' security concerns, and foster a lasting political settlement that preserves Georgia's territorial integrity and protects the rights of all of those involved in the conflicts. We highly appreciate the contribution of the UN Security Council, concerned states, and international mechanisms which participate in peaceful efforts toward resolution of these conflicts.
We note with satisfaction the entry into force of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, which will facilitate joint efforts on criminal and terrorist cases.
We will work to strengthen the exchange of professional know-how and experience in such areas as transportation security, hostage takeover, and airplane hijacking, among others.
We will work to strengthen national, bilateral, and multilateral measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, related technologies, and delivery means as an essential element of the fight against international terrorism and all those who support it.
An important step in our joint cooperation will be a meeting of our scientists in June. We will seek to develop jointly new technology to detect nuclear material that can be used to manufacture weapons for purposes of terrorism.
The U.S.-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan has proven a successful vehicle for joint efforts between the United States and Russia to counter terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. Recognizing the increased threat of terrorism originating in other regions of the world, we have directed that the Working Group's agenda be broadened, and that it be renamed the U.S.-Russia Working Group on Counterterrorism. Among other issues, this Working Group will address the threats posed by nuclear, biological, and chemical terrorism. The next meeting of the Working Group will take place in the Washington area in July 2002.
# # #