Karzai seeks Israeli help to combat terrorism

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 11:34:07 +0100

ISLAMABAD: In a major development that holds ominous overtones for
Pakistan and seeks the attention of foreign policy makers, Afghanistan
has formally sought help from Israel for combating terrorism, The News
has learnt. The request was put forth by newly elected Afghanistan
President Hamid Karzai to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky
on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence
Building Measures in Asia held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a fortnight ago. 

"I expect your help, Israel's help, in everything that concerns
Afghanistan's struggle against terrorism," Tel Aviv-based Israeli
newspaper Vesti quotes Sharansky as telling it in an interview on his
return from Kazakhstan, on June 13. President Pervez Musharraf and
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee were among a host of leaders
from Asia to attend the conference on confidence building measures in
the Asian continent. 

Asked if he met the Afghan leader during the conference, Sharansky
replied: "Yes, I had a meeting with him. Karzai is an elegant, handsome,
bearded man. The French fashion designers have referred to him as the
world's most elegant man. We also sat down side by side to be
photographed, the Palestinians stood on one side of him and I on the
opposite one." 

Sharansky added: "I spoke to him: It seems that you speak good English,
so let us get acquainted. And Karzai answered: Yes, let's. And we began
a tentative conversation. I told him: We can help Afghanistan in many
respects. Karzai himself said: I expect your help, Israel's help, in
everything that concerns Afghanistan's struggle against terrorism." 

Sharansky said he had written an article a short time before the United
States military operations began in Afghanistan saying, "The US should
not repeat its past mistakes, that it should not bring a dictator to
Kabul but, on the contrary, should encourage the democratic process
there." The Israeli deputy prime minister tells Vesti newspaper that he
was delighted to learn that Karzai had read his article and had known
all about it. "He had known much about my views, and our conversation
began on that basis. Later he sent his foreign minister (Dr Abdullah
Abdullah) to me who came to my room and we spoke there. We made
arrangements in a number of fields," Sharansky said. 

He added: "Karzai has put on his team people with absolutely pro-Western
views, and our notions are similar in many respects. May God help him
overcome the difficulties that lie ahead: They are unbelievably vast."
"Of all drugs that find their way to Europe today, 80 per cent originate
in Afghanistan. It is an enormously huge business. And then everything
must be restored or built anew in the country: trade, roads,
communications systems, agriculture, literally everything! Israel can
certainly help them," Sharansky added. 

Source:  The News

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