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11 March 2002

Diplomats Renew Solidarity with U.S. in Anti-Terror Coalition

(Ambassadors from Nigeria, South Korea, Turkey at White House
ceremony) (780)
By Christine A. Johnson
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- The south lawn of the White House was the venue for one
of many ceremonies held March 11 to honor both victims and heroes of
the multiple terrorist attacks in the United States exactly six months
earlier.
Joining President Bush, cabinet secretaries and lawmakers, and
relatives of many of the "9/11" victims were members of the Washington
diplomatic corps including Ambassador Jibril Aminu of Nigeria,
Ambassador Sung Chul Yang of South Korea, and Ambassador Faruk Logoglu
of Turkey, all of whom spoke at the commemorative event.
Ambassador Aminu said the terrible events of September 11, 2001, lie
"fresh in our minds six months on, as if they were yesterday."
"Those who perished therein will never be forgotten, nor will those
who have given their lives in the aftermath -- nor, for that matter,
the grief of their families. Our sympathies and solidarity with you in
the struggle against international terrorism" are strong, he said.
Aminu commended the patriotism, community spirit, and sacrifice that
Americans have exhibited since the tragedy and lauded the "systematic
steps taken to build an international coalition and to secure United
Nations support" for the campaign against terrorism.
He praised President Bush for his efforts on the war front and also
for being sensitive to the need to move on -- "so that the unpleasant
past will not be allowed to oppress and retard the future" -- a future
marked by the promise of world peace, human rights, social justice,
respect for all peoples and nations, friendship, trade, and scientific
and cultural cooperation "to improve the standard of living for all
and to make the world a better place for all -- a world where the
strong give a lending hand to the weak, and where those who have share
with those who have not."
Aminu promised that Africa would be a worthy and reliable ally,
partner, and friend, and as he pledged solidarity with the United
States, he expressed the hope that future ceremonies would observe
"happy events instead of the very sad events of last September, the
type of which we must all work and pray never to witness again."
Ambassador Sung Chul Yang of South Korea offered his deepest sympathy
and heartfelt condolences to the victims, families, and friends
affected by the horrors of September 11 and said the Korean people
will continue to actively support the international coalition until
terrorism is eradicated.
"Terrorism is the scourge of mankind," he said. "It has nothing to do
with religion or culture, and everything to do with death and
destruction. It must not and will not be tolerated under any
circumstances." He then quoted South Korean President Kim Dae Jung,
who called terrorism a barbaric crime that cannot be justified under
any pretext and which must be rooted out at all cost.
"[W]e must be constantly on guard against the present and future
intruder of liberty," the ambassador said. "The march toward liberty
and human dignity is neither linear nor stationary. History proves
time and time again that this perpetual march prevails over all
irrational impulses and inhuman forces."
Ambassador Faruk Logoglu of Turkey condemned the terrorist attacks in
New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania and said "justice will be
done, no matter what it takes."
He said the events of September 11 taught the world that terrorism
"has no limits; that it knows no religion or ideology; and that it's
not confined to any geography or nationality," but he said the most
important lesson is that the war against terrorism "requires sustained
solidarity by the civilized world, [and] unrelenting long-term
struggle on many fronts." Any relaxation or wavering in that struggle,
he cautioned, would be exploited by the terrorists.
Logoglu also said Turkey's participation in operations in Afghanistan
is one proof that the war on terrorism is not a war against Islam, and
that Turkish society itself "is living testimony to the proposition
that Islam, democracy and modernity are compatible. Our secular
society is one where civilizations do not clash but where, indeed,
they embrace."
He expressed his country's solidarity with the United States and the
coalition, and urged that as the fight against terrorism continues,
"we must at the same time strive for inclusion and participation,
trying to win the hearts and minds of people everywhere for the values
we together cherish."
(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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