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America Under Attack: NATO Speaks About Attack

Aired September 13, 2001 - 04:56   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN ANCHOR: NATO has declared the attacks to be an assault against all its 18 members. As we reported, for the first time in more than five decades, the alliance has invoked Article V of the NATO charter which says if one member state is under attack all others will defend it.

For more on what that might involve, we're joined now by Pio Cabanillas, chief government spokesman for a key NATO ally, Spain.

Mr. Cabanillas, thank you very much for joining us.

What did it take for Spain to make this decision?

PIO CABANILLAS, SPANISH GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: You're very welcome.

Let me state our position very clearly, we are on your side. We are on your side because you're friends, because you're allies, because we share the same values, because we believe in democracy, because we believe in human rights, because we are sure that terrorism is the greatest threat to democracy and to the international community and because we suffer terrorism ourselves. We know what you're going through, we go through that, too. Again, we are on your side.

VASSILEVA: Mr. Cabanillas, there are two military bases in Spain that were used during the Gulf War, will you allow the United States to make use of them should there be a decision made for retaliation?

CABANILLAS: Well, you know that there is a procedure to be completed. First, for the application of Article V it has to be demonstrated that what the declaration said yesterday has to be demonstrated that there is an attack -- an armed attack coming from abroad. And then each country has the right to determine in which way they contribute to the common cause. Of course talking and in close contact to all other allies and of course in close contact to the United States. So the Spanish contribution would be determined in due course.

What I want to make very clear from now is that we are very much in favor of what is being discussed right now.

VASSILEVA: When President Bush visited earlier this year it was during his European trip, he actually started his European trip in Spain, did he and Prime Minister Aznar talk about (INAUDIBLE) terrorism?

CABANILLAS: I think that first and the most important thing they did is to recognize that terrorism was an international problem and that the only way to defend ourselves and against that is international unity. He was very generous to the Spaniards and we appreciate that very much. He stood side by side with us. Today, we stand side by side with you. They did talk. They have been talking, and I'm sure that we will both contribute to the fight we're all into.

VASSILEVA: Mr. Cabanillas, thank you very much.

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