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13 September 2001

Western Hemisphere Leaders Condemn Terrorist Attacks in United States

(Official statements express support and send condolences)  (720)
By Vanessa Clarke
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks
on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, governments of
various countries in Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean are
giving their full support to the United States.
President Vicente Fox of Mexico offered his country's condolences and
said that Mexico has suspended its Independence Day holiday
celebrations as an expression of sympathy.
"Mexico expresses its condolences to the government and the American
people for the irreparable human losses," said Fox. "We also express
our energetic condemnation [of] these attacks ... and we hope that
peace reigns in the world."
Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso also extended his
condolences and said that the attacks "demonstrate the folly of
violence."
"We will continue to support the joint cooperative efforts of the
international community to eradicate such unacceptable practices that
are utterly inconsistent with the building of an international order
based on the principles of justice," he said. "We vehemently repudiate
terrorism."
President Fernando De La Rua of Argentina expressed his country's
sympathy and support for the United States in its time of need.
"I pray for the victims and ask God to give strength to the families
and [ensure] the speedy recovery of those affected by these events
which have deeply moved the world," said De La Rua. "The Argentine
government has strongly condemned the acts of aggression that took
place [Tuesday], and that have caused the loss of numerous lives and
countless wounded."
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien spoke directly to President Bush
and expressed sadness and concern on behalf of his country.
"I reiterated directly to him the sincerest condolences of the
Canadian people for the horrific attacks yesterday on innocent
Americans and our offer of any security or humanitarian assistance
that the United States may need," said Chretien.
The government of Colombia communicated its shock over the attacks and
called them "cowardly and despicable."
"There is no justification whatsoever for the death of hundreds of
innocents at the hand[s] of a few intolerant radicals," the Colombian
government said in a statement. "With all our support and solidarity,
we accompany President George W. Bush and all the American nation in
these moments of grief and uncertainty. We [affirm] our confidence
that the United States will soon overcome this tragic moment for the
well-being of its citizens and of all nations that work for a peaceful
world."
Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Basedo Panday sent his country's
condolences on Tuesday's tragedy and said it was "a slap in the face
of those who seek peace."
"I imagine the day -- United Nation's Day of Peace -- was deliberately
chosen by the terrorists," said Panday. "Trinidad and Tobago has, at
both national and international forums, condemned terrorism."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressed "profound grief" over the
"cowardly, murderous" terrorist attacks on the United States and
offered help in the form of oil supplies, rescue teams and blood
products.
As one of the leading providers of gasoline to the United States,
Venezuela will do everything possible to ensure that fuel supplies in
the world's largest economy remain normal, Chavez declared. "Our
deepest condolences go to the people of the United States and the U.S.
government and especially to the families of the thousands of victims
of these abominable acts," he said during a live national address in
which he observed a moment of silence. In addition, Chavez added his
voice to calls for an international pact to fight terrorism in the
aftermath of the bloody assault on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon.
The Organization of American States (OAS) Special General Assembly,
which convened in Lima, Peru, on September 11, issued an official
statement saying that it "condemns in the strongest terms the
terrorist acts visited upon the cities of New York and Washington,
D.C., today, and reiterates the need to strengthen hemispheric
cooperation to combat this scourge that has thrown the world and the
hemispheric community into mourning."
"The General Assembly expresses its full solidarity with the
government of President George W. Bush and with the people of the
United States of America," the OAS statement said.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
http://usinfo.state.gov)



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