US can rely on allies, says Robertson

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Series Details Vol.7, No.35, 27.9.01, p7
Publication Date 27/09/2001
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Date: 27/09/01

By Laurence Frost

ELEVEN defence ministers from EU countries within the NATO alliance have reaffirmed their readiness to support an "arduous" US-led military campaign against terrorism.

US Deputy Defence Minister Paul Wolfowitz outlined Washington's military plans to its 18 Nato allies gathered in Brussels yesterday (26 September).

"It was totally clear that the US can rely on its 18 allies for assistance and support," said NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson after the meeting.

There had not yet been any request from the US for collective action, he said, but stressed that the alliance was keeping its options open.

"This is consistent with the measured approach being taken by the US Administration," Lord Robertson added. "It was also recognised that the campaign against terrorism will be long, arduous and will require radical new thinking."

Earlier in the day, UK Defence Minister Geoff Hoon said London would be willing to contribute troops already deployed for military exercises in Oman to the planned US-led operation, renamed operation 'Enduring Force' in response to criticism that its earlier codename, 'Infinite Justice', was offensive to Muslims.

  • EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has welcomed the meeting between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Gaza yesterday (26 September). Solana said the meeting was a "crucial first step" towards resumption of the Middle East peace process, and called for the restoration of security cooperation between the sides.
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