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#3 - JRL 7031
Voice of America
January 23, 2003
US May List Some Chechen Groups as Terrorists

A top U.S. official says Washington is working very closely with Moscow on preparing a list of Chechen separatist groups, which the U.S. government could designate as foreign terrorist organizations.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said the United States denounces anyone who kills civilians for political aims. He stressed, however, that the United States is counting on Russia to respect the rights of Chechen citizens who are not involved in terrorist activities.

Mr. Armitage, who is in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, made the comments Thursday, during a live radio interview with Echo Moskvy. The U.S. diplomat also said Russia is doing a good job in guarding its nuclear facilities in order to prevent weapons proliferation.

And Mr. Armitage thanked Russia for its efforts to resolve the crisis over North Korea's intention to develop nuclear weapons.

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