Zapatero urges 'calm' reaction to terror after 9/11
11 September 2006, HELSINKI — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero defended "calm responses" to terrorism as the only effective ones and he said its victims across the world should be paid special attention.
11 September 2006
HELSINKI — Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero defended "calm responses" to terrorism as the only effective ones and he said its victims across the world should be paid special attention.
Speaking on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Zapatero made his suggestions before dozens of world leaders at the 6th EU-Asia, or ASEM, summit in Helsinki on fighting terrorism, combating climate change and fostering trade.
Zapatero did not mention specifically the problem of terrorism in Spain or the dialogue process with the separatist group ETA, which has used terrorist tactics in its four-decade struggle to carve out an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southwestern France.
He said that ASEM must adapt itself to new challenges, among them that of global terrorism, which he said is a threat for all the countries present at the Helsinki summit.
"There is no cause that justifies terrorism. No idea, no matter how legitimate, can be an alibi for indiscriminate murder," Zapatero said, adding that governments must be able to find responses to the complex problem.
"The responses must be effective, but also calm," he said.
The Spanish premier said that terrorism "is only infamy and barbarism," not politics or ideology, and only political action can resolve the conflicts from which it springs, despite the fact that terrorism itself aggravates those conflicts and makes their solution more difficult.
Zapatero said the threat must be confronted in all its complexity, in all its dimensions, from a political consensus based on effective multilateralism, international cooperation, the defense of legality and respect for human rights.
In that context, he defended reinforcing the institutional framework of the United Nations so that it can assume the leadership in the struggle against terrorism.
The importance of paying attention to terrorism victims was also a key element in Zapatero's remarks.
He said there must be more cooperation mechanisms between states through the police, judicial and intelligence realms to respect human rights, prevent new attacks and isolate and contain terrorist organizations, as well as those who support, finance and justify them.
"We have to be able to exchange more and better information to fight efficiently against the financing of terrorism, to guarantee the security of international commerce and to protect infrastructure," Zapatero added.
He also said that terrorism must not be linked with any specific civilization, culture or religion, adding that it would be a grave error to place entire societies or communities under suspicion of complicity in terrorist acts.
Zapatero said that the enormous economic and social fissures affecting many societies cannot be ignored, noting that they are used as a pretext for a number of terrorist campaigns.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news