Attacks on Afghanistan: EU reactions

The US has launched retaliatory attacks against
the Afghan Taliban on Sunday 7 October. Commission President
Prodi and several EU leaders expressed their support for the
fight against terrorism, but stated that this “fight is not
against religions or peoples”.

The US and the UK launched air and missile strikes against
Taliban military facilities on 7 October, starting what
President Bush has said will be a long campaign against
terrorism. The American President announced the attacks in
a television address. During the night of 7-8 October, four
waves of heavy bombing took place. It is anticipated that
the raids will continue for some time.


Al Jazeera television in Qatar showed a video recording
made in Afghanistan earlier, in which Osama bin Laden says
"America will not live in peace until peace reigns in
Palestine". Taliban officials called the US strikes a
"terrorist act". Pakistan authorities regretted "that
diplomatic efforts to convince the Taliban leadership to
respond to the international demands did not succeed".

UK Prime Minister Blair confirmed that
UK forces were involved in the attacks. German chancellor
Schröder promised full support for the American
initiative. French President Chirac made a television
statement and said that his country will participate in the
war against terrorism. Russian President Putin had been
informed by George W. Bush before the attack started.

Commission President Prodi expressed in
an official statement the support of the European Union.
"We are united, and will remain united, in this struggle
against those who attack the very foundations of
civilisation. Our fight is not against religions or
peoples. I have asked Chris Patten immediately to
coordinate humanitarian and other actions for which the
European Community has responsibility. Our assistance is
already being mobilised to provide help to those who may be
the innocent victims of this situation and to refugees
escaping from the military action."

The Belgian EU Presidency also
reaffirmed "its entire solidarity with the United States,
as well as with the United Kingdom and all the other
countries engaged in these operations". It underlined "that
these military operations are not directed against Islam,
or against the Arab and Muslim world but, on the contrary,
are part of a larger campaign against international


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