Moscow, 21 August 1998 (RFE/RL) - Russian officials and U.S. diplomats made clear today that a U.S.-Russia summit will go ahead early next month, despite Russian President Boris Yeltsin's criticism of yesterday's U.S. missile strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan. Yeltsin, upon arival today in the Arctic port city of Murmansk, told reporters he was "outraged" by the U.S. air strikes. Yeltsin complained that U.S. President Bill Clinton had not warned him in advance of the strikes. Yeltsin's spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, however, later said Russia and the U.S. were "in the same boat" in the fight against terrorism and will continue coordinating their efforts.
A U.S. embassy spokesman in Moscow said preparations for the
summit had not been affected by Yeltsin's remarks. Interfax news agency quoted
Russian officials as saying the summit on September 1-3 in Moscow remained on
Yeltsin, who watched military exercises of Russia's Northern Fleet, later
today left Murmansk for Moscow. Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin, who had been
vacationing since mid-July, officially returned to work yesterday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said today that one of the missiles the United States
aimed at suspected terrorist bases in neighboring Afghanistan landed on its
soil, killing at least five peole.
A Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman said Islamabad has
lodged a protest with the U.S. over the incident. The spokesman said a U.S.
diplomat told Pakistan the casualties may have been the result of a technical
Up to now Pakistan has assisted the U.S. in its investigation of the U.S.
embassy bombings in East Africa by handing over, within a few days of the
bombings, a suspect picked up at Karachi airport.
U.S. President Bill Clinton said the simultaneous U.S. strikes in Afghanistan
and Sudan yesterday were in retribution for the U.S. embassy bombings two
weeks ago, in which more than 250 people died. Clinton said compelling
intelligence information had linked the embassy attacks to Saudi-born
millionaire Osama bin Laden. Clinton said bin Laden was a financial backer of
both the Afghan and Sudanese targets. Clinton said the military attacks were
also designed to thwart plans for alleged new terrorist attacks.
America's allies have generally expressed support for the U.S. attacks. U.S. foes Iran, Iraq, and Libya have condemned the strikes.