Statement by General Affairs Council, Luxembourg
The EU declares its full solidarity with the US and its wholehearted support for the action that is being taken in self-defence and in conformity with the UN Charter and the UNSCR 1368. The terrorist attacks of the 11th of September are an assault on our open, democratic tolerant and multi-cultural societies and are regarded by the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security. The Heads of State and Government of the EU made clear on 21 September that a riposte to those barbaric acts would be legitimate. Member States have confirmed that they stand ready to act each according to their means. The EU remains in close consultation with the United States.
All the information points clearly and convincingly to the responsibility of Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaida network for the 11 September attacks. A month later, and despite repeated pressure, the Taliban regime has refused to take responsibility for handing over those suspected so that they could be brought to justice.
The EU stresses that this carefully targeted action launched on 7 October is not an attack against Islam nor the people of Afghanistan, whom the EU is determined to support and sustain. The EU and its Member States are responding urgently to the humanitarian crisis in and around Afghanistan and have already decided to make available 316 million EUROS. The Afghani people deserve a government which is truly representative and which responds to their needs and aspirations. Such a government will find a ready partner in the EU. We believe that the role of the UN in this regard is essential.
The military action being taken is one part of a wider multilateral strategy in which the European Union is committed to playing its part. This involves a comprehensive assault on the organisations and financing structures that underpin terrorism.
The EU will continue its close contacts with the countries of the region and other partners.