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Powell in Moscow to Boost Support for War on Terrorism - 2001-12-09

Secretary of State Colin Powell is in Moscow to strengthen support for the war against terrorism.

The focus of Mr. Powell's trip will be maintaining Russian support for the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan and re-building the country now that the Taleban has been removed from power.

The Secretary of State will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and on Monday will hold talks with President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Powell is also laying a wreath at a memorial to 13 people who were killed when a bomb exploded in a Moscow underground walkway 16 months ago.

This is Mr. Powell's first trip as secretary of state to Russia, a country that has become one of America's main allies in the fight against terrorism.

Russia and many of the Central Asian countries have offered the United States unprecedented support in its war against terrorism.

During a stop in Uzbekistan, Mr. Powell said the Central Asian country is prepared to offer humanitarian help to the Afghan people and to aid in the re-building Afghanistan. President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Uzbekistan says aid agencies will be allowed to deliver much-needed supplies into northern Afghanistan across a bridge from his country.

Russia has also offered to help rebuild Afghanistan now that the Taleban are all but gone from the country. Russian workers from the Emergencies Situations Ministry are building field hospitals and distributing aid supplies in Afghanistan.

While in Moscow the Secretary of State is also expected to discuss other subjects that Russia and the United States do not agree on, such as Washington's plans to build a national missile defense system.