US must not fight terrorism alone, Aznar says

20th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 January 2005, WASHINGTON- The United States must not be alone in facing world challenges such as terrorism, bringing peace to the Middle East and deterring rogue regimes, said former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

20 January 2005

WASHINGTON- The United States must not be alone in facing world challenges such as terrorism, bringing peace to the Middle East and deterring rogue regimes, said former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

In a commentary published by The Wall Street Journal, Aznar said: "Today a new presidential term starts in the United States.

"It is the duty of President (George W.) Bush and his administration to formulate and propose solutions. However, this cannot be the exclusive burden of the United States.

"The rest of the international community must also bear our share of responsibility. In other words, if we want problems to be solved, Mr. Bush will have to do his job, but the rest of world's major leaders must also play their part," Aznar wrote on the day of Bush's second inauguration.

In fighting terrorism, Aznar described Iraq as the "main arena" and the January 30 elections as a crucial step in bringing "representative democracy and the rule of law to a region where they have never really existed."

In the Middle East, Aznar said, the burden of peace is shared by Palestinians, Israelis and the United States, but newly-elected Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas "has the leading role" of stemming the terrorism that has led to the current deadlock.

"Now we are faced with a new opportunity, one that neither Abbas nor Israel can afford to waste," he said, urging the US and Europe to support both sides "when they are moving in the right direction," but to "withdraw that support when they observe that certain conditions persist that prevent Palestine from marching toward a serious, trustworthy and democratic state."

On EU-US relations, Aznar said: "There is no sense in dwelling on the negative aspects of the Atlantic relationship in the past. Now we must face the future challenges to Western security together.

"Frustrating Iran's nuclear ambitions will be a good opportunity," he said.

He called on world leaders to help promote freedom and democracy, touching on the expected main theme of Bush's inauguration speech.

"The best thing about placing our faith in freedom is that it always shows us the right path to follow. That is why, as we stand on the threshold of a new term, I would not wish the United States to be the only country prepared to give freedom a chance," said Aznar.

Aznar gave Bush unwavering and deeply unpopular support over the war in Iraq but it cost him his job in elections last March after the Madrid train bombings widely seen by voters as being linked to his stance on Iraq.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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