France 'not immune to terror'

16th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - France is not immune from terrorist acts, but there is no specific threat against it, President Jacques Chirac said Tuesday after talks in Paris with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - France is not immune from terrorist acts, but there is no specific threat against it, President Jacques Chirac said Tuesday after talks in Paris with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

"France is not currently a specific target, but like all democracies, it is not immune from terrorist acts," Chirac said at a joint press conference with Schroeder, reaffirming France's solidarity with Spain after the Madrid attacks.

"We must remain vigilant. The government and all of its services are mobilized. They are working closely with our partners," the French leader said, calling for world unity in the face of the global terrorist threat.

"The international community must rally together to relentlessly fight against terrorism in all its forms. But we must be clear-headed. We must also rally to put an end to conflicts that feed anger and frustration among peoples," he said.

Chirac said European Union member states would reinforce the European anti-terrorism action plan, drafted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, and would improve coordination among EU intelligence services.

"Faced with the threat, with respect for civil liberties and the rule of law, Europe will protect its citizens," the French president vowed, saying terrorism would top the agenda at next week's EU summit in Brussels.

For his part, Schroeder urged intensified police and security cooperation on the European and transatlantic levels.

"Terrorism can not only be fought with arms and police," the German chancellor told reporters. "We must also combat the roots of terrorism," he said, citing in particular economic under-development.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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