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Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

United Arab Emirates Won't Recognize Taliban

ByABC News
September 22, 2001, 2:36 PM

Sept. 22 -- President Bush continued his campaign to fight terrorism as the global isolation on Afghanistan grew today.

The United Arab Emirates cut ties with the Taliban, the Islamic militia that claims to be the ruling regime of Afghanistan. Now, only two nations, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, recognize the Taliban as the legitimate Afghan government.

The move gave a significant boost to the U.S. diplomatic efforts to put pressure on the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden, whom President Bush has named the "prime suspect" in the deadly Sept. 11 hijacking attacks on America. Bush has authorized a military mobilization that could be used against Afghanistan.

"The United Arab Emirates does not believe that it is possibleto continue to maintain diplomatic relations with a government thatrefuses to respond to the clear will of the internationalcommunity," an unnamed foreign ministry official told the UAE official news agency.

In Afghanistan, where opposition forces launched heavy fighting, a Taliban official said the regime shot down an unmanned spy plane in a northern province and were trying to determine what nation it belonged to. The Afghan Islamic Press, an Afghan news agency based inIslamabad, Pakistan, first reported that it was a U.S. spy plane, then saidit wasn't sure which country it was from.

Pentagon officials declined to comment on the reports, saying their policy was not to respond to "each and every claim made by the Taliban."

Bush Meets With Top Advisers

President Bush held a national security meeting by videoconference from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. Joining Bush at Camp David were national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet and White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

Following on his Thursday speech to a joint session of Congress, where Bush proclaimed the United States would confront terrorism with force, the president used his Saturday radio address to soothe the nation's economic fears.