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Bush and Chirac Discuss Next Step in Establishing New Afghan Government - 2001-11-06


President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac have agreed to accelerate plans for a new government in Afghanistan. The leaders also discussed increasing aid for refugees.

The Presidents discussed the status of military operations in Afghanistan. But the talks focused more on what comes next - the need to have a stable, inclusive administration ready to take over in Kabul.

After their meeting, President Bush said the United States and France are determined to pursue all aspects of the fight against terrorism. "Our war against terror is more than just military action in Afghanistan. We have an obligation to help feed the innocent people in Afghanistan, and we have got to make sure that there is a post-Taleban government that reflects the values of both our countries," he said.

President Chirac expressed his desire to speed up the delivery of relief supplies to refugees as winter approaches. The French President said it is part of a comprehensive campaign to stop terrorists based in Afghanistan.

President Chirac said military action is indispensable, but it is not the only thing. America and its allies are making a great effort to accelerate talks on the political future of Afghanistan, as well as disrupting the terrorists' financial network.

President Bush has said he appreciates French support in the anti-terrorism coalition. He said all nations that want to fight terrorism must do something, and it is time for some members of the coalition to back-up their words of sympathy with action

The President is to speak Saturday at the United Nations, where he says he will insist that countries be held accountable for inactivity in the fight against terrorism.