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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 02:22 GMT
African leaders in US terror talks
From left, Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, US President George W Bush and Ethiopian  Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Mr Bush met Kenya's Moi (l) and Ethiopia's Zenawi
The leaders of Ethiopia and Kenya put security at the top of the agenda at talks with United States President George W Bush in Washington.


We believe that the war against terrorism is a war against people who have not caught up with the 21st century

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
The White House meeting with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had been planned some time ago but was given added significance after last week's attacks on Israeli targets near the Kenyan coastal resort of Mombasa.

Three suicide bombers killed nine Kenyans and three Israelis by driving a vehicle full of explosives into a hotel last Thursday.

At the same time, missiles narrowly missed an Israeli passenger plane as it was taking off from Mombasa airport.

The US has warned there may be more terror attacks in East Africa. On Wednesday the UK closed its High Commission to Kenya after an unspecified security threat.

Support for war on terror

Mr Bush welcomed the Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders as "two strong friends of America... two leaders of countries which have joined us to fight the global war on terrorism".

President Moi next to the missile launchers used to fire at the plane
Moi condemned the Mombasa attacks

He has said he believes that al-Qaeda was involved in the Mombasa attacks but said before the meeting that he was confident Osama Bin Laden's network was being dismantled.

Mr arap Moi said he was most concerned with the security in and around his country and the global fight against terrorism.

He was echoed by Mr Meles who said: "We believe that the war against terrorism is a war against people who have not caught up with the 21st century, who have values and ideals that are contrary to the values of the 21st century.

"And in that context, it's a fight not between the United States and some groups, it's a fight between those who want to catch up with the 21st century and those who want to remain where they are."

The meeting in the White House, which was attended by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, also covered the fight against Aids, efforts to end civil war in Sudan, regional drought and economic development.

Kenya and the United States are currently holding joint military exercises in the Manda Bay naval base on the Kenyan coast.

Operation Edged Mallet began two day before the Mombasa attacks and are part of a programme of military co-operation dating back to 1996.

Somali link?

Thirteen suspects have been detained in Kenya in connection with the Mombasa attacks.

They are reported to be mainly Pakistanis and Somalis.

Ariel footage of the Paradise Hotel
Ariel view of Paradise Hotel
Two "Kenyans of Arabic origin" were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the failed missile attack on the Israeli plane, police said.

Some US officials have said they believe that Somali group Al-Itihad al-Islamiya (AIAI) carried out the attacks.

The Ethiopian Government has long accused the Transitional National Government in Somalia of having links to terror groups.

The US is setting up a new military base off the coast of Djibouti as part of its war on terror.

Some 1,200 marines are based on a warship in the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Yemen, where al-Qaeda has had some cells.


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05 Dec 02 | Africa
04 Dec 02 | Africa
02 Dec 02 | Africa
29 Nov 02 | Africa
08 Nov 02 | Africa
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