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|Sunday, July 23, 2000, updated at 17:38(GMT+8)|
Putin Warns G-8 of "Terrorist Arc", AfghanistanRussian President Vladimir Putin urged his partners in the Group of Eight nations on Sunday not to play the ostrich in the fight against international terrorism, much of which he said was emanating from Afghanistan.
"It is important not to act the ostrich hiding its head in the sand, pretending the threat does not exist," Putin told a news conference at the end of the three-day G8 summit on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
"The worst thing we could do is to pay money to the terrorists, try to buy them off," he said, adding that this would merely make them more aggressive. Putin said he had told his fellow leaders -- of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada -- that an "arc of instability" had been formed stretching from the Philippines, which has seen a spate of hostage-taking by Moslem extremists, to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
"The centre of this arc... is Afghanistan and this affects not only Russia and Central Asia but many other countries too," he said. "The only solution is to widen the international system for combating terrorism and to raise its effectiveness."
Russia says it is fighting international terrorism in its southern breakaway region of Chechnya. It says the Chechen rebels are receiving active help from Afghanistan's ruling Taleban, whom it also accuses to trying to destabilise ex-Soviet Central Asia.
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