Foreign and security ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) countries and Russia, meeting yesterday in Paris, approved a package of 25 measures aimed at combating international terrorism. The measures include plans for an international convention on terrorist acts, pledges to reinforce police cooperation and training as well as increased sharing of intelligence and surveillance of terrorist organizations, an easing of extradition and legal assistance, improved security on public transportation, and a strengthening of national anti-terrorism legislation. The participants also vowed to prevent the use by terrorists of the Internet. The U.S. delegation, which included Attorney General Janet Reno and Under-Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff, sidestepped a potential rift with other G-7 members and Russia by avoiding mention of Washington’s contentious call for "strong sanctions" against four states accused by the U.S. of sponsoring terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan. However, U.S. president Bill Clinton did say following talks in Washington with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak that he believed other foreign leaders would eventually come around to Washington’s view. (Reuter & UPI, July 30)
Moscow, which has been a regular participant in G-7 political discussions, was represented in Paris by Federal Security Service director Nikolai Kovalev and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Prior to the start of talks Kovalev announced that Russia had prepared an "action program" that it would present at the one-day conference. He also said that he had signed with French interior minister Jean-Louis Debre an agreement that envisages exchanges of information on terrorist organizations and technical cooperation. (Itar-Tass, July 30) The decision to hold yesterday’s conference was first announced at the G-7 Summit in Lyon following a June 25 bomb blast in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans. The still unexplained explosion of a TWA jetliner off Long Island on July 17 and a pipe bomb explosion at the Olympic park in Atlanta on July 27 added to the urgency of yesterday’s meeting.
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