Top NATO, Russian officials talk about fighting terrorism together

Monday, February 4th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ROME (AP) _ Top NATO and Russian officials gathered in Rome on Monday to talk about how they can increase cooperation in fighting terrorism.

The one-day conference builds on earlier condemnations of terrorism and pledges to work together to fight it. It also comes on the heels of a global security conference in Germany.

Russia sent a large delegation to Rome that includes representatives of the border guards, internal and presidential security and parliament as well as military officials. Its delegation is headed by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.

The NATO delegation is led by Lord Robertson, the alliance's secretary-general.

Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, NATO and Russia have been looking for ways to combine efforts on a number of fronts, including stopping the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Russia has supported the U.S. war in Afghanistan but could find itself in a difficult position if Washington decides to expand its anti-terror campaign. Moscow has strong ties to all three countries the Bush administration has decreed an ``axis of evil'' _ Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

At the Germany security conference, Ivanov acknowledged that the three might pose a nonproliferation threat but said he had ``no data or information that would suggest the governments of those three countries support terrorism.''