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Full Solidarity with the United States (September 12, 2001)

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We now need to act rapidly to take more effective measures to eliminate the breeding grounds of terrorism. Those who help or harbor terrorists violate all the fundamental values on which international coexistence is based. Last night I spoke with President Chirac and Premier Jospin of France, with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, and with President Putin of Russia. We are all agreed in our assessment that these terrorist attacks constitute a declaration of war against the free world.

The foreign ministers of the European Union will hold a special meeting today. After that the European Union will need to express its solidarity at the highest level. I have asked the current President of the Council of the European Union, Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, to undertake a corresponding initiative.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many people will be asking themselves what these attacks mean for us in Germany. Last night I called an emergency meeting of our national security council. We analyzed the situation in detail on the basis of the information available to us. At the present time there are no indications of any security threat in our country. However, we have taken additional measures to ensure that the people of our country will be protected. This has to do in particular with the security of our air space and air traffic as well as the protection of American and other endangered facilities.

In addition, we will have to work together in considering what long-term consequences need to be drawn from these horrifying attacks. Our national security council will meet again this morning. It goes without saying that we will keep the parliamentary groups, the political parties, and the general public informed with regard to further developments. The next briefing of party and parliamentary group leaders will take place this afternoon in the Chancellery as agreed.

I am convinced that by standing together we will be able to deal with this criminal challenge. Freedom and democracy, the values of peaceful coexistence among people and nations will pass this test.

Source of English translation:

Source of original German text: “Regierungserklärung von Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder zu den Anschlägen in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika vor dem Deutschen Bundestag am 12. September 2001 in Berlin” [“Government Declaration on the Attacks in the United States of America, by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on September 12, 2001, before the German Bundestag in Berlin”], Bulletin [Press and Information Office], No. 58-1 from September 12, 2001.

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