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UN Security Council Has United Message for Taleban - 2001-09-18

The President of the United Nations Security Council is warning Taleban leaders in Afghanistan to hand over suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The full 15-member Security Council heard a report on Afghanistan from U.N. Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast. In a closed session, he gave the Council a two and one-half hour briefing on the current political, military and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Afterwards, Council President Jean Levitte of France told reporters there is now one single message from the Security Council to the Taleban.

"Today, there is one and only one message the Security Council has for the Taleban," he said. "Implement the resolutions of the Security Council, in particular, resolution 1333 immediately and unconditionally."

That resolutions demands that the Taleban turn over Osama bin Laden to "authorities in a country where he has been indicted." He has been indicted in the United States. The resolution also demands that the Taleban close all terrorist training camps in the areas of Afghanistan under its control.

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United Nations asked the Security Council to hold a full, open meeting on Afghanistan. Ravan Farhadi, who represents the Northern Alliance that is fighting the Taleban, also said his group should be consulted in advance of any outside military action in Afghanistan.