28 July 2005
United Nations Condemns Terrorist Attacks, Assassinations
Annan calls murders of Algerian diplomats "brutal, barbaric"
By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent
United Nations – In the wake of the terrorist attacks in London and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and the assassination of two Algerian diplomats by an al-Qaida-linked group in Iraq, condemnations have echoed throughout the United Nations, and diplomats have voiced strong support for the completion of a convention against all forms of terrorism.
The Security Council held two formal meetings July 27 to issue presidential statements.
Reaffirming that terrorism in all its forms constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, the council unequivocally condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in Sharm el-Sheikh on July 23.
"The Security Council underlines the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this horrendous act to justice and urges all states, in accordance with their obligations under international law and resolution 1373 (2001) to cooperate actively with the Egyptian authorities in this regard," said the statement read by Council President Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece.
"The Security Council reiterates its determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations," the statement said.
In its second presidential statement, the Security Council condemned "in the strongest possible terms the assassination 27 July 2005 of the two Algerian diplomats accredited at the Algerian Embassy to Iraq, M. Ali Belaroussi and M. Azzedine Belkadi, and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Algeria."
"The Security Council emphasizes that there can be no justification for such terrorist acts and underlines the need to bring to justice its perpetrators," the council said in the statement read by Vassilakis.
The Security Council reaffirmed "its unwavering support for the Iraqi people and their political transition" and called on the international community "to stand by the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability and democracy," the statement also said.
As reports of the assassination of the two Algerian diplomats reached U.N. headquarters, Secretary-General Kofi Annan and members of the Security Council were quick to offer condolences to the government and people of Algeria.
Annan said that "we must all condemn utterly this brutal and barbaric act." The killing of innocent civilians and diplomats who are there to help the Iraqi people is "not serving any cause," he said.
"Those responsible should be brought to account. We should do everything to bring them to account," Annan said. "The people of Iraq have suffered enough. They would want to get on with their lives. And they need the support of the region and the international community to get on."
Talking with journalists on July 25, Annan said the terrorist bombings in Egypt and London provide one more reason to press ahead with the convention on terrorism.
"As I said, it's not Islamic; it's not whatever. We know them for what they are," Annan said. "Terrorism is, as I have indicated, killing and maiming of innocent civilians, regardless of your cause. I don't attach it to any specific religion. We've had it in England; we've had it in Spain; we've had it here."
"A simple, clear statement -- bringing in moral clarity -- that maiming and killing of civilians is unacceptable regardless of one's cause, I think, will satisfy all of us," Annan said, referring to the negotiations on the definition of terrorism in the convention.
"We know what we are living with, and I think the whole world is now standing together in the fight against terrorism. And the U.N. and its General Assembly must lead in that fight," the secretary-general said.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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