EUROPEAN COUNCIL: MEMBER STATES READY TO BACK 'TARGETED' STRIKES.

PositionFor terrorist attacks

The emergency meeting saw a considerable measure of European cohesion boosted by the belief that the Member States are influencing this international crisis. Since the dramatic events of September 11, the Member States have repeatedly expressed solidarity with the Americans and called for a cool-headed approach from its leaders, and have been pleased to see that this dual message has been well received across the Atlantic. Reporting on the EU Troika's talks in Washington in anticipation of a transatlantic Ministerial session, Belgium's Foreign Minister Louis Michel indicated that discussions provided a measure of reassurance (see European Report 2620, Section V for further details). He indicated that America's response will not be improvised and will take full account of the sensibilities of those called to participate in this broad coalition against terrorism. Heads of State and Government unanimously agreed that the decisions taken on September 12, notably the activation of article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance Treaty and article 51 of the United Nations Charter, can be assumed without fear of setting off an uncontrollable sequence of events. France's President Jacques Chirac nevertheless warned that action must be targeted and avoid innocent victims. Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was sanguine in indicating that whilst the riposte needs to be proportionate, in view of the magnitude of the attack it will clearly need to be very significant.Denmark's Prime Minister, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, whose country has accustomed its partners to more prudence in military affairs, at least in the context of common security and defence policy, showed his battle colours in indicating that Denmark is behind the United States and fully supports military action against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and the American President's demands on the Afghan regime.German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, one of the prime movers behind the extraordinary summit, indicated that Resolution 1368 gives the United States the right to trace and punish terrorists and the countries protecting them. He indicated that all are ready to provide military support according to their means and constitutional situation, adding that he has no problem in this area, though he acknowledges that this limitless solidarity risks raising tensions within the German Government coalition, the Greens taking a dim view of the commitment of the Bundeswehr without any Parliamentary debate. The same conviction, though a less warlike tone was also expressed by neutral countries which are not members of NATO.Finland's Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen indicated that the United States can do as it wishes but that Finland will not necessarily participate in military action and is indeed unlikely to be asked. Helsinki expects like Vienna and Stockholm to be asked for logistical support with a view to a humanitarian aid programme for Afghan refugees, conducted by the European Commission in liaison with the United Nations HCR. Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern meanwhile promised kerosene to the US Air Force.--Article 5 - North Atlantic TreatyThe Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security (1).Article 51 of the Charter of the United NationsNothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain inter- national peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT