De Villepin argues rounder approach against terror

20th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 20 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin criticised the policy of "head-on attack" against terrorism in an interview published Monday, saying it encouraged violence and helped recruit terrorists.

PARIS, Sept 20 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin criticised the policy of "head-on attack" against terrorism in an interview published Monday, saying it encouraged violence and helped recruit terrorists.  

"We must not fall into the trap which terrorism has set for us," he told the daily Le Republicain Lorrain, published in north-eastern France.  

"Whenever force is used as the only response, we see the same scenario unfold with the worsening of the situation."  

Noting that "the enemy" relied on the support of "groups which themselves find their legitimacy in crises such as the Middle East and Afghanistan," he went on: "Head-on attacks are a continual encouragement to terrorism and attract more people to its cause."  

Villepin, a former foreign minister and the government official who is closest to French President Jacques Chirac, did not overtly criticise the policies of any particular country.   

But he did point to regions where the United States, Russia and Israel are militarily active against what they describe as terrorist groups, saying that "only a political solution" could resolve these crises.  

"We need the unity, the will and imagination of the international community to resolve regional crises such as those in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya, where only a political solution will work," he said.  

"We must understand that terrorism feeds on a sense of injustice, humiliation and frustration," Villepin continued, describing this as "the invisible face" of the problem.  

The visible side of terrorism must be fought through the banking system, the courts and police action as well as with armed force, he said.  

But "if we want to be effective, we must take account of the invisible side, the compost on which terrorism feeds," he added.  

"If we do not take account of this complexity, and if we fail constantly to play up our greatest asset - that we are democracies concerned about justice, freedom and respect for others - there is a danger of terrorism contaminating other parts of the world," Villepin concluded.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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