PM urges combined effort against terrorism
11 September 2006, BRUSSELS — On the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt urged again for the "combining of democratic powers in the war against terrorism". "Eleven September was the start of a distressing, new era of angst, terrorism and danger," the Liberal VLD leader said.
11 September 2006
BRUSSELS — On the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt urged again for the "combining of democratic powers in the war against terrorism".
"Eleven September was the start of a distressing, new era of angst, terrorism and danger," the Liberal VLD leader said.
"The attack on the Twin Towers in New York was not only an attack on the US. It was also an attack on democracy, an attack on freedom, an attack on Western civilisation.
"On 11 September, all Europeans were Americans, just like Americans were Europeans at the time of the attacks in London, Madrid and Istanbul."
Verhosfstadt also said it was unacceptable that al-Qaeda and other such groups could plunge the world into fear, uncertainty and chaos in the name of a faith.
"We can do nothing else but combine our democratic powers in this complex war."
The US marked on Monday the 5th anniversary of the attacks in which almost 3,000 people were killed and which led to the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Four minute silences were observed at Ground Zero in New York, where flowers were left and the names of the victims read aloud. Memorial ceremonies were also held at the Pentagon near Washington and in Pennsylvania.
And government leaders from across the globe also issued official statements, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel using the opportunity to issue veiled criticism against US foreign policy.
At a meeting of European and Asian leaders in Finland, she said respect for human rights and other cultures in the international war against terror should not be forgotten.
On Sunday, she had sharply criticised the secret CIA prisons where terrorism suspects are interrogated.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard attended a ceremony at the US embassy in Canberra, where he called the attacks an assault against values that the entire world held in common.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said in Finland that terrorism has not declined and is "a great threat for human nature".
The 38 leaders observed a minute's silence in Finland in honour of the 9/11 victims.
Human rights body the Council of Europe criticised US methods in the war against terror and said the world had not become a safer place since the 9/11 attacks.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urged for better co-operation between Washington and Brussels so that a better exchange of information could be established.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news