Spain Stands With United States Against Terror
By Jim Garamone
with the United States in the fight against terrorism, Spanish
President Jose Maria Aznar told a joint session of Congress during
a visit to the U.S. last week.
a brigade and a headquarters serving with the Multinational Division
Central/South based in Hillah, Iraq. A number of Spanish soldiers
have been killed or wounded in the country.
through a translator, said Spain understands "that we have
to face risks and shoulder commitments — commitments that must
He said Spain
wants to occupy a position in the first line in defense of democracy
and the rule of law alongside friends and allies. "We share
with you values and principles," he said. "And let me
say that our commitment to freedom is unwavering."
the opportunity to pay tribute to the American people "for
the indispensable role that they have played in the fight for
democracy and freedom."
Congress that the Atlantic relationship is key to worldwide stability.
"The Atlantic relationship strengthens Europeans and Americans
alike, and it makes the world a safer and freer place," he
He said European
integration must be carried forward, but always with an eye to
transatlantic ties. "As a European, let me say that I have
no wish whatsoever for an alternative to the transatlantic relationship,"
the Spanish president said.
no alternative to the Atlantic relationship. Wanting a strong
European Union, as Spain does, and being at the vanguard of Europe,
as Spain is, doesn’t entail working to be a counter power to the
United States. It means working toward an Atlantic-minded Europe."
that when terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001,
they were challenging the core values of humanity: freedom, moral
decency, compassion and respect for the lives of others. "Immediately
after the attacks, Spain expressed its active solidarity and its
commitment to the government and the people of the United States,"
he said. "Allow me here, in this chamber, to reiterate that
solemn commitment today."
both countries would both like to see the U.N. Counterterrorism
Committee play a real and effective role. "We would like
to see a world list of terrorist organizations drawn up and approved,"
he said. "We also feel it important to ensure that the voice
of the victims of terrorism is listened to permanently."
He said the
fight against terrorism continues in Afghanistan and Iraq. "In
Iraq, terrorists are trying to prevent the Iraqi people from taking
their own destiny in hand," Aznar said. "We refused
to countenance the repeated violations of international law by
Saddam Hussein’s tyranny."
out the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
is crucial to a more stable world. "Recent progress in the
fight against the proliferation of these weapons would not have
been possible had it not been for the firm stance that we have
taken," he said.
poses a very real threat to everyone’s security," he continued.
"Faced with the risk that these weapons might be used by
terrorist groups, we cannot stand by and do nothing. In addressing
this challenge, we have to act together and with resolve."