|Bartlett Says U.S. Should
Help Afghan Resistance|
Outside the Capitol, from left: Rep. Bob
D-Tenn.; Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.; Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Frederick,
(at the mikes); Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Cal.;
Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.; and Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich.
(Photo by Jennifer Dorroh/CNS)
Capital News Service
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001
WASHINGTON - The United States should help resistance groups overthrow the
Taliban in Afghanistan and be prepared to give Afghanistan up to $20 million
in aid once the Taliban is removed from power, said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.
Bartlett, R- Frederick, spoke Tuesday as part of a bipartisan delegation of
House members who traveled to Italy, Turkey and Russia last week where they
said they worked to build coalitions for the U.S. fight against terrorism.
The 11-member delegation returned from its six-day trip Monday night.
The trip included meetings in Rome with former Afghan king Zahir Shah, who
was deposed in 1973, and with commanders in the resistance movement against
"We conveyed to King Zahir that we support his efforts and the efforts
of the Afghani resistance to bring freedom and peace to their
homeland," said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., who led the delegation.
"The United States and Afghan resistance groups have a common struggle
against the oppressive Taliban regime and their terrorist
In Ankara, Turkey, the group met with top officials of the government, which
has agreed to let the United States use its airspace and transit facilities
during a potential military strike in response to the terrorist
Bartlett said Turkish officials urged the United States to give development
assistance to Afghanistan through nongovernmental organizations in Turkey.
But they cautioned against pouring too much U.S. money into the country,
Bartlett said. "If we gave them a billion dollars, it would cause them
problems and create corruption," he said.
In Moscow, the delegation met with members of the Duma, Russia's national
legislature, and with officials in President Vladimir Putin's administration
to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the war on terrorism as
well as other issues.
Delegation members said they were encouraged by the response they got from
the Russians. On a personal note, Bartlett said he was pleased to renew his
acquaintance with members of the Duma, whom he had met on his previous trip
to Russia in the late 1990s.
The pleasure appeared to be mutual, he said. "They don't just kiss you
twice, they kiss you three or four times."
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