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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Clarksdale, Mississippi)
For Immediate Release                                       July 6, 1999


I have signed an Executive Order imposing financial and other commercial sanctions on the Afghan Taliban for its support of Usama bin Ladin and his terrorist network. The Taliban has allowed the territory under its control to be used as a safe haven and base of operations for Usama bin Ladin and the Al Qaida organization, who were responsible for the bombings of our embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last year, murdering 12 Americans, nearly 300 Kenyans and Tanzanians and wounding another 5,000. To this day, bin Ladin and his network continue to plan new attacks against Americans, without regard for the innocence of their intended victims or for those non-Americans who might get in the way of his attack. The United States has tried repeatedly, directly and working with other governments, to persuade the Taliban to expel bin Ladin to the United States for trial or, if that is not possible, to a third country where he will face justice for his crimes, and to end the safe haven it gives to bin Ladin's network, which lives and trains in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. These efforts have failed. The Executive Order I have signed will deepen the international isolation of the Taliban, limit its ability to support terrorist networks and demonstrate the need to conform to accepted norms of international behavior. The Order does not affect humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies for civilian use. It is not aimed at the people of Afghanistan, but at the Taliban. Those who nurture terrorism must understand that we will not stand by while those whom they protect target Americans.