Moscow Wants To Expand
Global War On Terrorism
By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia offered a blueprint on Friday for an expanded global assault on terrorism, including a new international law holding nations responsible if they fail to crack down on terrorists within their borders.
``The land should burn under the feet of those who plan and commit terrorist acts or support them, who are involved in cross-border manipulations of mafia groups and drug lords,'' Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said.
``The evil should be and will be punished. It cannot be disguised under any political, nationalist or religious slogans. Terrorism is nothing but a crime,'' he told the annual high-level session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Russia, grappling with what it views as its own ``terrorist'' problem in the form of Chechen separatists, quickly signed up for Washington's war on terrorism after Sept. 11 attacks by hijacked commercial airliners that killed more than 4,500 people in the United States.
Ivanov appealed for international steps beyond what Washington had set out, calling, for example, for the establishment of a U.N. center to help nations resolve terrorist crises.
The new agency would provide logistic support and advice to governments dealing with terrorism, he said.
Russia also intended to study the addition of a principle to international law that would hold states responsible ``for the failure to take measures against terrorists in their territory or under their jurisdiction,'' Ivanov said.
He called for a further bolstering of U.N. peacekeeping and conflict prevention programs.
``Our common interests will be served if the world organization were equipped with a modern arsenal of instruments for improving its anti-crisis potential,'' he said.
He said a special U.N. focus should be on ``reliably blocking the channels for outside fueling of a conflict.''
He also urged the United Nations to press for global economic reforms aimed at closing the gap between the world's rich and poor, saying poverty, misfortune, illiteracy and unemployment ``provide the breeding ground for terrorism.''
While not specifically mentioning the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, he said the U.N. Charter authorized the use of military force against terrorists.
``Similarly,'' he added, ``it is evident that the threat cannot be overcome by forceful means alone. The comprehensive approach to eradication of terrorism implies the use of the whole range of political, economic, financial and humanitarian measures.''
The U.S. raids on Afghanistan, launched on Oct. 7, were aimed at toppling Afghanistan's ruling Taliban for sheltering Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, blamed by Washington for masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks.
Ivanov said dealing with terrorism was the central topic of discussions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, which ended on Thursday without resolving their differences over the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

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