The Russian and US Presidents express support for the Afghan nation in efforts to form a government able to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, close down terrorist camps and put an end to the use of Afghanistan as international terrorist base, says a joint statement which sums up the initial day of negotiations between Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush in Washington. As the signatories agree, a new Afghan government must comply with internationally recognised principles, respect human rights--women's, in particular, promote the delivery of aid to cope with a current humanitarian crisis, and ensure economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan and the area around. Russia and the USA cannot form a future Afghan government, and do not intend to do so. It is up to Afghans alone to determine their own future. As the two Presidents see it, the government must be broad-based and represent all Afghans, men and women alike. All ethnic entities must be represented on the government. The Taliban movement is to be kept outside future Afghan government agencies--the Presidents agree on that, too. Messrs. Putin and Bush greet Lahdar Brahimi's appointment special envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Afghanistan, and support his efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea