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November 1, 2001
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EU to ship arms to anti-Taleban forces

Acting on a British request the European Union on Wednesday evening agreed to permit the shipment of weapons to anti-Taleban forces in Afghanistan.

The decision was unanimously taken by the permanent representatives (ambassadors) of the 15 EU member states.

This decision puts EU policy in line with a UN Security Council resolution adopted last December.

To take full legal effect, it still needs to be formalised at the next EU Council of Ministers' meeting to be held next Monday in Brussels.

The European Union had prohibited arms shipments by its member states to 'all parties involved in the Afghan conflict' in December 1996, on the heels of a similar UN Security Council resolution.

But it did not update its stance, when the UN Security Council revised its policy with Resolution 1333, which limited the ban to areas held by the Taleban regime for failing to turn over Osama bin Laden.

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