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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:49, September 11, 2006
ASEM to observe silence for 9/11 anniversary
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The Asia-Europe Meeting summit will observe silence at Monday's closed-door session for the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, said Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Sunday night.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso meanwhile showed solidarity with the United States on the fifth anniversary.

"Five years have now passed since the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001. Today is a time to remember the victims and express our solidarity with those left behind by this and all other terrorist attacks," he said in a statement embargoed for release by midnight Sunday.

"We are more determined than ever to tackle the causes, and the consequences of global terrorism. We have to tackle not just the methods used but also the ideas of those that wage this campaign."

Ignorance and mistrust are essential to the terrorists' strategy, he said. "Our response must be to stand up for our values, namely respect for human rights, which are the surest guarantee of our future security."

He said more remains to be done such as fighting radicalization and recruitment and that effective policies are needed to prevent and detect the misuse of explosives, protect critical infrastructure and ensure transport security.

European Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini has also written to U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to underline the continued commitment of the European Union (EU) to increased cooperation with the United States in this area.

"Five years have passed since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Our deepest sympathy went out to the victims, their families and all Americans. We saw that senseless loss of so many innocent lives as an unacceptable act of violence without precedent in the modern era," reads the letter.

"Immediately after the initial shock we joined our efforts to fight the threat that terrorism poses to our societies and to our democratic values. Those efforts continue to be necessary today."

He said today Europe and America are better prepared to respond than they were five years ago. Europe has suffered major attacks but has been able to thwart several attempts.

U.S. President George W. Bush has for the first time confirmed the existence of secret CIA prisons overseas for suspected terrorists, which Vanhanen said Sunday was unacceptable.

Neither Barroso nor Frattini mentioned the CIA secret prison issue. But Frattini's letter indicated that the fight against terrorism must respect the rule of law and fundamental values.

"Our joint efforts have helped us safeguard our societies based on the rule of law and democracy, as we both agree that we can fight terrorism effectively only on the basis of our fundamental values," said Frattini.

Source: Xinhua

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