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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-10-08
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
8/10/2001 2:58:00 μμ
Weather forecast Latest developments after U.S led attacks on Afganistan Prime-minister Kostas Simitis today chairs a meeting of KYSEA Foreign Minister Papandreou says Greece could play an important role
 Weather forecastSunny weather is forecast in the west, with scattered cloud in the rest of the country. Light easterly winds in the west, northerly moderate winds in the east turning to strong in the Aegean. Sunny in Athens, some cloud in the north and east, with temperatures between 19C and 28C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 16C to 26C.
 Latest developments after U.S led attacks on AfganistanStill unclear remains the extent of damage after yesterdays U.S , Britain led attacks on Afganistan. According to the Pakistan based Afgan Islamic Press (AIP) at least 20 people were killed during the air-raids , 10 near Kabul airport and another 10 died when a bomb fell near the official Voice of Shariot radio station. But the radio located in central Kabul reported in its morning bulletin that there has not been any casualties only material damage. The radio praised the pro-Taliban army and said it would defend its Muslim nation and each meter of the country to its last breath of life.
It should be noted that the Voice of Shariat radio which went off after the first attack, resumed broadcasting on Monday morning without making any reference to the night raids Taliban officials said today that 2 people were killed and at leat 4 injured during the raids on Kadahar, the Talibans spiritual stronghold and headquarters of Mullah Omar, protector of the multi-millionaire militant bin Landen.
The Taliban official said that he did not know the extent of the damage. The anti Taliban Afghan opposition, the Northern Alliance took advantage of the US air strikes on Kabul to fire volleys of rockets on the Taliban this morning, predicting that the days for the fall of the capital could be numbered.
As dawn broke in Kabul thousands of residents began fleeing the capital fearing new attacks.In the meantime, the Iranian News Agancy reported yesterday that the Taliban opened fire against civilians who tried to flee from Kandahar.
In his message today, the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf said that we tried our outmost but unfortunately it was not possible to prevent the conclusion that happened last night.
The Pakistani President said that U.S led attacks on Afganistan had been specifically targeted at terrorist bases and the ruling Taliban. Musharraf said that he had definite assurances that this operation will be short targeted and should not have c ollateral damage.
In referrence to the situation prevailing in Pakistan, Musharraf stressed that there was no reason for foreign citizens to leave the country and people continued their normal daily activities.
In the meantime, the Pakistani President went on a significant reshuffle of the armed forces leadership which was announced shortly after the opening of U.S led air strikes on Afganistan.
At the same time the US government has taken draconian security measures with war air- crafts flying over large American cities. Washington has warned American citizens in Indonisia to prepare for a possible evacuation of the country as a hardline Islamic organisation in Indonisia has threatened to attack foreigners unless Indinisia's government interrupts diplomatic relations with the U.S and its allies and called on muslims in the country to surround the American embassy in Tzakarta.
American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield said that this was the first stage of American-led operations followed by infiltration of special forces in Afganistan and regular ground forces next. American President George Bush said that the target of the miliotary operation was to destroy military installations of the al Qaeda network and oust the Taliban from power. Following President Bush decision, American Secretary of State Colin Powel will visit Pakistan and India this week. Mr.Powell was scheduled to visit Japan this week , while the decision to visit Islamabad and New Delhi indicates the importance that the American administratio renders to Pakistans and India's role in this operations and the aversion of any disputes between the two historic enemies in this region where the maitainance of a common international front is essential.
In an interview with the American television channel ABC, American congressman Richard Selby stated that he was convinced that bin Landen was preparing a new terrorist attack on the US but he was not certain if it would come soon or delay.
In a vi deotaped message broadcast on Sundau, Osama bin Landen swore that the U.S would not live in peace until the Palestinians did, and praised the September 11 attacks that killed about 6000 people.
The Taliban ambassador in Pakistan said that both bin Landen Mulas Omar Musharraf survived the US raids and repeated that the Kabul regime will not hand over Saudi born suspect bin Landen.
EU Foreign policy Chief Xavie Solana today said that every EU country member was so9lidly behind the U.S, Britain led military operation, describing it as a legal retaliation on attacks on the U.S. Solana said that every EU country will participate according to its capacity.
Germany, France, Australia, Canada and Italy offered to put in military forces. Moscow, Japan, Argentina and South Corea voiced strong support for the US-led military raids against Afganistan while China offered indirect endorsement of U.S British attacks on Afganistan in a cautiously worded statement condemning any form of terrorism but calling for targeted strikes to avoid civilian casualties.
Israel described the US led military strikes as a courageous decision while the Palestinians supported a common stand of the Arab and Islamic world.
ran and Iraq condemned the US led air raids on Afganistan while demonstrations against the air raids were staged in Pakistan. Anti war demonstrations were also staged in Chicago and Rome. Asian money markets today opened with a drop in crude oil prices According to economists, it is difficult to predict oil prices in the coming weeks after the American administration announcement that the military operation in Afganistan will last long.
 Prime-minister Kostas Simitis today chairs a meeting of KYSEAIn Greece Prime-minister Simitis will chair a special meeting of the Government Council of Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) to examine the situation following the U.S led attacks on Afganistan. All airports in Greece are on a 24-hour alert while Transport Minister Hristos Verelis has ordered the cancelling of all small aircraft flights.
In parallel, the airport in Hania has closed while the Air-force has been ordered to be on the alert in the event that any plane without a flight plan entered Greek air-space. In reference to the U.S led air raids, Prime minister Costas Simitis, said "the response of the U.S. was unavoidable. Those who killed thousands of innocent citizens should be held accountable." "Greece is struggling against terrorism and is participating in the framework of decisions taken by NATO and the EU," he said.
Simitis added that "we have requested that the response should be concentrated on specific targets" and said that U.S. vice President Dick Cheney reassured him of this and that humanitarian aid for refugees will be continued.
"I hope there will be no or few victims among the civilian population," he further said.
Repplying to a question by the press on whether there will be a more active participation by Greece, he reiterated that the country is providing facilities at its airports in the framework of decisions taken by NATO and the EU. "So far," he added, "there has been no request for further assistance. I hope it will not be necessary." Simitis further said "the situation has changed the world's situation. One cannot say for sure that it will change for the worst."
 Foreign Minister Papandreou says Greece could play an important roleIn the meantime , from Denmark, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said that Greece could paly an important role due to its good relations with the Arab world. Mr. Papandreou described the present period of historic importance for mankind and announced that he will visit Syria next week for talks with the leadership of the country. The opposition ND party also expressed solidarity to the common effort for the eradication of terrorism stressing that reasond should prevail along with determination.