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NATO Secretary-General Denounces Terrorist Attacks On U.S.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 26, 2001 – In his opening remarks at today's NATO meetings, Secretary-General Lord Robertson first cited "the horror of the terrorist attacks which were perpetrated against the United States two weeks ago."

Robertson called on the NATO ministers to observe a minute of silence in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon. More than 6,500 are feared dead from the attacks.

"These barbaric acts are an intolerable assault on humanity and the values we all share," Robertson said. He added that the attacks are also "an affront to everything this alliance stands for and they are a direct threat to international peace and security."

The secretary-general noted that on the day after the attacks, the organization's Council in Permanent Session invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. This means, he explained, that if the attacks on New York City and Washington are determined to have been of overseas origin, then they were attacks on all the other 18 NATO member nations as well.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz is attending the meetings. Originally scheduled for Naples, Italy, the meetings were transferred recently to NATO headquarters in Brussels because "it would be unwise to move so many key staff away from this headquarters at a time when we need to be functioning at full capacity," Robertson explained.

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

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