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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 01:55 GMT 02:55 UK
Gulf state reviews Taleban ties
Rashediya Grand Mosque in Dubai Friday
Terror attacks were indirectly condemned in UAE sermons on Friday
The United Arab Emirates, one of only three states to recognise Taleban rule in Afghanistan, is reviewing its ties with the militant Islamic movement.


We are reviewing the relationship in view of the present situation

UAE spokesman
The move comes in the wake of the terror attacks on the United States, according to official sources.

The US suspects the Saudi-born dissident Osama Bin Laden, who is sheltered by the Taleban, of organising of the attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon near Washington in which an estimated 5,000 people died.

"We are reviewing the relationship in view of the present situation," a UAE official source told the Reuters news agency.

Few friends

Only the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have recognised the Taleban as Afghanistan's government since the militia took control of most of the country in 1997.

Bin Laden
Bin Laden has been stripped of his Saudi citizenship
The Emirates maintains low-level diplomatic ties at the charge d'affaires level.

The official quoted by Reuters said the Emirates had fully complied with sweeping UN Security Council sanctions imposed on Afghanistan in 1999, including halting direct flights, trade exchanges and receiving missions.

BBC Middle East correspondent Frank Gardner says that while most Gulf governments would be happy to see Mr bin Laden silenced, he still enjoys popularity among many ordinary Arabs.

The Saudi Government stripped him of his Saudi nationality seven years ago after he openly criticised the ruling family for allowing American troops to be based in the Arabian peninsula.

See also:

14 Sep 01 | Americas
How far can Arab states co-operate?
14 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe mourns with US
14 Sep 01 | Americas
In pictures: A country in mourning
Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


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