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Terrorism, Balkans Key Topics At NATO Meetings

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 26, 2001 – Terrorism and the Balkans are the two top items on Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz's agenda as he participates in NATO meetings here today, a senior DoD official said.

The official said that the United States will be able to count NATO support as it formulates its response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed more than 6,500.

He emphasized that the war against terrorism is a coalition effort that will be waged on several fronts, blending diplomatic, political, financial, intelligence and military means. Anticipated NATO assistance will be along those lines, he noted.

The battle against terrorism isn't directed against Muslims or any other religious group, the official emphasized. Rather, he said, it is targeted toward those who seek to deprive others of their freedoms.

Regarding the Balkans, the official remarked that NATO members would discuss how best to implement civil authority to replace military peacekeepers in Macedonia and elsewhere in the region.

The official also noted that American and Russian officials would continue discussions on building a new, 21st century framework between the two countries, to include ballistic missile defense issues.

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Related Sites:
Background Briefing En Route to Brussels, Sept. 26, 2001

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