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Shevardnadze Supports US-Led Terrorism Campaign - 2001-10-06

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze says he supports the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism. He spoke after talks at the White House Friday, with President Bush.

President Shevardnadze described the meeting as "unique." He said there was "absolute mutual understanding."

"In matters related to terrorism we actually pledged to one another full cooperation and full solidarity," the president said.

The Georgian President once served as Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union. He took over the top diplomatic post in 1985, at the height of that country's bloody war with Afghanistan.

As he left the White House, Mr. Shevardnadze was asked by reporters if he had given President Bush any advice. The Georgian leader said he did what he had to do, and now it is up to others to make decisions.

Mr. Bush has called on Afghanistan's Taleban rulers to turn over Osama bin Laden-the U.S. government's prime suspect in the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. And he has warned that any country that harbors terrorists will pay the price.

President Shevardnadze, who once called for a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, was asked if major military action is now likely.

"Well, I don't really think so," he said. "I don't think that the United States is going to have a massive strike. But this is my personal view."

The Georgian leader said he would like to see a summit meeting of the nations involved in the fight against terrorism. He suggested that such a meeting might take place under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.