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Bush And Putin On Cooperation

During their summit meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to increase cooperation and joint efforts in a number of areas, including nuclear security and counter-terrorism.

The two men agreed to work together to push for full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution Fifteen-Forty. That resolution requires U.N. member-states to take measures to prevent terrorist groups from acquiring weapons of mass destruction or their components. Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin agreed to establish a U.S.-Russian Senior Interagency Group for cooperation on nuclear security, including the disposition of nuclear materials no longer needed for defense purposes.

President Bush said that since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, President Putin has "clearly understood" the dangers that both the United States and Russia face from international terrorism:

"Every time that we meet, we have an interesting and constructive strategy session about how to continue to protect our peoples from attack. He has confronted some serious attacks in his country. I know what that means as a fellow leader. I know the strain, I know the agony, I know the sadness, I know the emotion that comes with seeing innocent people lose their lives, and we have shared that. I hope we never have to share it again."

President Bush said he had a "very important and constructive dialogue" with Mr. Putin in Bratislava -- one that produced, he said, "a lot of positive results."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.