De Villepin says 'no bargaining with terror'

16th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

VIENNA, April 16 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said here on Friday that "there will be no bargaining whatsoever with terrorists," in response to an apparent truce Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden offered to European leaders.

VIENNA, April 16 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said here on Friday that "there will be no bargaining whatsoever with terrorists," in response to an apparent truce Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden offered to European leaders.

"The game of terrorists is to divide," de Villepin said at the close of a meeting of European interior ministers looking for ways to combat terrorism on the continent following the deadly March 11 Madrid attacks.

"Our response as interior ministers is to mobilise, to confirm that we stand together. There will be no bargaining whatsoever with terrorists," de Villepin added.

In an audio cassette aired early Thursday by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television, bin Laden offered peace to European countries that refrained from aggression towards Muslims and pulled their troops out of the Muslim world.

European leaders, including French President Jacques Chirac, on Thursday swiftly rejected the truce offer as a ploy by "terrorists".

Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said he viewed the message as "an attempt to divide western democracies ... to create a rift between the countries of Europe."

De Villepin also warned: "We cannot underestimate the link between illegal migration in Europe and terrorist networks."

He said it was therefore vital to secure the new borders of the enlarged

European Union that will be created with 10 countries join the bloc on May 1."We have to show to our citizens that we are capable of taking action," he added.

© AFP                                                   

                                                         Subject: French news

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