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Christiane Amanpour: Building worldwide alliances to combat terrorism

Christiane Amanpour is CNN's chief international correspondent. She reported for this chat interview from Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, September 25, 2001.

CNN: Greetings and welcome Christiane Amanpour. It is always good to have you join us.

AMANPOUR: Hello I'm pleased to be with you for the next several minutes.

CNN: Christiane, what are European Union (EU) officials doing in Pakistan?

AMANPOUR: European Union Officials have come in support of the United States to try to rally the Islamic and Arab world to join the coalition against terror. They are carrying the specific message that the U.S.-led coalition is not against Islam, but against terrorism. They are also promising Pakistan that they will restart economic and trade relations that were frozen right after the military coup here in 1999, and they are calling on all the countries in the Islamic world to do their part to shut down the financing of terrorism. They are visiting Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Has anyone thought of or suggested sending [large quantities of] medical supplies, food and water and shelters to the Afgan border in Pakistan? It would be a grand gesture on the part of the U.S. and a solid PR coup d'état.

AMANPOUR: The UN today explained that they are very concerned about the humanitarian situation inside Afghanistan, which was bad even before this crisis. About 2 million Afghan people rely on humanitarian aid and assistance and there has been none going in since this crisis started. The UN says that they are trying to pre-position humanitarian aid to be able to take it into Afghanistan the moment they are able to do so. The EU today announced that they were providing $20 million for immediate humanitarian relief, and the British government is also saying there will be money for humanitarian assistance.

CNN: These crises-driven events are forming some new world alliances very quickly. Is it likely that these new alliances are being built for the long term?

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AMANPOUR: Well, the British prime minister today made a very clear statement to that effect. He said that out of this terrible atrocity that took place, that there is some opportunity to forge new long-term alliances for the betterment of the world. For example, Prime Minister Blair said that the Israeli Prime Minister has now agreed to allow his foreign minister to meet with the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat to try to resolve the crisis there. In addition, he mentioned the British foreign minister has been in Iran the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution there. And that almost all governments of the world are coming together in this new global alliance for future security.

CHAT PARTICIPANT: Can you tell us how real the threat is from Osama bin Laden supporters to the Pakistani government? And will Pakistan be able to stay 'on board' with the anti-terrorism coalition?

AMANPOUR: The Taliban of Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden have called for a holy war, but the government of Pakistan believes that most of its people stand behind the decision to combat terrorism.

CNN: Thank you for joining us today, Christiane Amanpour.

AMANPOUR: Ok.. thank you very much.

Christiane Amanpour joined via telephone from Islamabad, Pakistan. CNN provided a typist. This is an edited transcript of the interview, which took place on Tuesday, September 25, 2001.


• Christiane Amanpour Bio

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