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Bush Forcefully Rejects Taleban Conditions on bin Laden Hand-Over - 2001-10-14


President Bush has forcefully rejected the latest Taleban conditions for handing over alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden, saying the matter is not open to negotiation.

Taleban Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir told reporters in the city of Jalalabad that if the Taleban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden was behind the September 11th terrorist attacks -- and if the U-S bombing stops -- the Taleban would be ready to hand him over to a third country. But Mr. Kabir also said the Taleban would have to be assured that the third country is not under the influence of the United States.

In response, President Bush told reporters at the White House today (Sunday) that he will not negotiate with the Taleban. He said the Taleban rulers know what to do -- turn over Osama bin Laden and members of his al-Qaida network, and destroy all terrorist camps. Mr. Bush added that the U-S bombing campaign is already doing a good job of destroying the camps.

U-S officials believe Osama bin Laden was the mastermind of the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington.

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