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Albright Urges Taliban to Release Embassy Bombing Suspect

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed Taliban officials today at a news conference in Kenya. Albright urged the Taliban to release Osama bin Laden, a suspect in the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Albright said of the Taliban, "I think that a way for them to show that they wish to be a part of the international community is to cooperate and not harbor terrorist elements." She said that the Taliban's tolerance of narcotics trafficking and their "abominable treatment of women" are factors which prevent the U.N. from recognizing the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan, but that releasing a suspected terrorist would be "a good start."

Albright rejected the Taliban's claim to be acting on behalf of their belief in Islam. "Terror is not a form of political expression and certainly not a manifestation of religious faith," she said. "It is murder, plain and simple, and those who perpetrate it, finance it and otherwise support it must be opposed by all decent people."

Media Resources: Washington Post - August 19, 1998