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13 September 2001

Bush Continues to Rally International Support Against Terrorism

(Talks with world leaders, to visit New York City Sept. 14) (840)
By Wendy S. Ross
Washington File White House Correspondent
Washington -- President Bush is continuing work to build a global
coalition against terrorism in response to the attacks on New York
City and Washington earlier in the week.
He told White House correspondents the morning of September 13 that he
had already been on the phone, like the day before, with leaders from
around the world who express their solidarity with the United States'
"intention to rout out and to whip terrorism."
These leaders, he said, fully understand, "that an act of war was
declared on the United States of America. They understand as well that
that act could have easily been declared on them."
He said they join him "in solidarity" about holding those responsible
who fund terrorists, harbor them, and encourage them, Bush said.
The terrorists, he pointed out, "can't stand freedom. They hate our
values. They hate what America stands for. Many of the leaders
understand it could have easily happened to them."
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters that Bush
arrived in the Oval Office at approximately 7:10am and "made a series
of phone calls to world leaders, including Prime Minister Koizumi of
Japan, Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy, Lord Robertson of NATO, and
Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
"All four expressed their condolences and deepest sympathies to the
people of the United States over this terrorist attack, and all four
told the President that they stand united with the people of the
United States in combatting terrorism, said Fleischer.
There has been an "outpouring of support" for the United States, Bush
said, noting phone conversations with Russia's President Vladimir
Putin and China's President Jiang Zemin and added that he had had "a
great" conversation this morning with His Royal Highness Prince
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
"There is universal support for the American people," he said, and an
"understanding that we have just seen the first war of the 21st
century. And there is universal approval of the statements I have
made, and I am confident there will be universal approval of the
actions this government takes," Bush said.
He also said that he appreciated the statement that Pakistani leader
Pervez Musharraf gave about "his willingness to work with the United
States. And I appreciated that statement. And now we'll just find out
what that means, won't we?" he said.
"We will give the Pakistani government a chance to cooperate and to
participate as we hunt down those people who committed this
unbelievable, despicable act on America."
The President spoke with reporters following a televised phone
conversation from the Oval Office with New York Governor George Pataki
and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Bush thanked them both for the heroic efforts the people of New York
City are making to deal with the aftermath of the attacks on the Twin
Towers, and said he plans to visit New York September 14, following a
prayer service at Washington's National Cathedral.
"I want to let you know there is a quiet anger in America that really
is real," said the President.
Bush said he looked forward to joining with both Pataki and Giuliani
"in thanking the policemen and firemen, the construction trade
workers, the restaurant owners, the volunteers, all of whom have
really made a huge display for the world to see of the compassion of
America and the bravery of America and the strength of America.
"Every world leader I've talked to in recent days has been impressed
by what they have seen about our nation and the fabric of our nation,"
the President said.
"But make no mistake about it, my resolve is steady and strong about
winning this war that has been declared on America. It's a new kind of
war, and I understand it's a new kind of war. And this government will
adjust, and this government will call others to join us, to make sure
the people who conducted these acts, and those who harbor them, are
held accountable for their actions. Make no mistake."
Bush also urged tolerance towards the thousands of Arab-Americans who
live in New York City "who love their flag just as much as the three
of us do."
He said "we must be mindful that as we seek to win the war, that we
treat Arab-Americans and Muslims with the respect they deserve. I know
that is your attitude as well, certainly the attitude of this
government, that we should not hold one who is a Muslim responsible
for an act of terror," said Bush.
The President left the White House immediately following his Oval
Office phone call to go to Washington Hospital Center to visit victims
of the attack on the Pentagon. Accompanying him was First Lady Laura
Bush.
(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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