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Airing of Basayev's interview does not reflect U.S. official position - Russian politician


MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - The airing of Shamil Basayev's interview on the U.S. TV network ABC does not reflect the Bush administration's official position on terrorists, Federation Council (upper chamber of the Russian parliament) member Mikhail Margelov said.

"I am convinced we should not judge the official position of the Bush administration by this interview. After the Beslan tragedy, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that Basayev did not have the right to exist, and I think his opinion reflects the position of the U.S. leadership," Margelov said.

At the same time, he said, "By allowing terrorists to make public statements using various media sources, the media becomes their accomplice, promoting terrorism and helping terrorists to recruit new followers."

"I thought that after the terrorist acts in London and Egypt it should be clear that a person who openly calls himself a terrorist and promises new terrorist acts should not be speaking in public, but rather be buried at the bottom of the Mariana Trench," Margelov said.

He also said he supported the initiative of State Duma (lower chamber of the Russian parliament) Deputy Konstantin Kosachev urging the U.S. Congress " to analyze the activity of the U.S. media in order to prevent the access of international terrorists to the media in the future."

"I believe the Federation Council will support the initiative during its consultations with the U.S. Senate, as well," he concluded.

In his interview on ABC, Basayev justified the hostage-taking on Dubrovka in Moscow and the blasts aboard two Russian planes last year. Regarding the school hostage-taking in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia where 330 people were killed, including 186 children, on September 1-3, 2004, Basayev said he "had not crossed the line yet." He openly called himself a terrorist and promised new terrorist acts in the future.

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