|Author (Person)||Banks, Martin|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.36, 4.10.01, p2|
A POTENTIALLY damaging split has emerged among the European Parliament's Green group over how the US and its allies should respond to the terror attacks on New York and Washington.
It follows a deal thrashed out by the 48-strong Green and European Free Alliance Group which gives qualified backing to any military action against the ruling Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
A resolution passed by the group, the fourth largest in the European Parliament, recognises the United States' right to self-defence but calls on the Bush administration to "act with restraint".
Irish Green MEP Patricia McKenna says, however, she is "uncomfortable" with this as it could be be seen as giving America and the international community a "blank cheque" to launch military strikes.
She said: "While I would naturally condemn the terrorist attacks in the USA, I am totally against military action which could punish innocent people. The resolution passed by the group leaves me a little uncomfortable, particularly the reference to America's 'right to self-defence'. My fear is that this could be mis-interpreted as giving the Bush government the green light for military action."
McKenna, a former vice-president of the Green group, says that instead of air strikes every effort should be made to bring those responsible for the attacks before an international tribunal. "Far better to be tried in court than murdered by a cruise missile," she said. "This was done following the Lockerbie tragedy and I don't see why the same action cannot be taken now."
However, another Green member, the French MEP, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, has given his guarded backing to military action.
He said: "The Americans and wider international community have to be very careful over how it responds. However, I believe the scale of this atrocity justifies military action. I must stress, though, that this must only be against military installations in Afghanistan."
The Green/EFA resolution says: "We condemn the acts of terrorism on New York and Washington as an attack on human civilisation and a crime against humanity. The Group recognises the United States' right to self-defence according to article 51 of the UN charter but calls on the Bush administration to act with restraint and respect for basic human values."
Meanwhile, the left-wing European United Left (GUE) group has accused the Bush administration of launching a "campaign of vengeance" following the 11 September attacks. In a statement, it says: "The fight against terrorism cannot be won through war. It will lead to an endless spiral of hate and violence."
A potentially damaging split has emerged among the European Parliament's Green group over how the US and its allies should respond to the terror attacks on New York and Washington.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|
|Countries / Regions||United States|