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U.S. officials in Moscow for talks on Afghanistan

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October 17, 2000 

  

MOSCOW (AP) - U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering arrived in Moscow on Monday for talks on Afghanistan's involvement in international terrorism, officials said.


Russia and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia are worried by the advances of Afghanistan's hardline Taliban militia, which controls about 95 percent of the country's territory.


Russia has troops in Tajikistan, next door to Afghanistan, to help guard the border against incursions by militants and drug-smugglers.


U.S. Undersecretary of State John Holum was also expected in Moscow on Monday for talks on nuclear disarmament and missile defense systems.


Holum was expected to meet with Russia's Yuri Kapralov, director of the Foreign Ministry's Security and Disarmament Department, and Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported, citing diplomatic sources. The sides were expected to discuss the proposed START III arms reduction treaty.


The previous, START II treaty reduces warheads to 3,000-3,500 on each side. The START III originally envisaged both sides cutting to about 2,000 warheads, but Russia has suggested bigger cuts.



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