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America Under Attack: Europe To Hold 3-Minute Silence

Aired September 14, 2001 - 03:20   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: A three-minute silence will be held across Europe Friday, that's scheduled to begin in just about three hours from now.

Britain has already said that as many as 100 of its citizens may have perished in the World Trade Center. Germany and Ireland are also reporting losses.

European Political Editor, Robin Oakley, joins us now from London with more on how events in the U.S. are being viewed internationally.

Robin?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ralitsa, there's been a huge outpouring of grief and sympathy across Europe. And first of all, it is the most basic of human levels.

I went down yesterday to Grovesnor Square where in front of the U.S. Embassy, beneath the statue of Theodore Roosevelt, people had been pouring into offer bouquets of flowers, they've put down dollar bills, there are candles burning, baseball caps, there was a picture of Brooklyn Bridge -- all sorts of momentous in a huge outpouring of public sympathy. But that's been reflected, too, on a much more formal level.

At Buckingham Palace yesterday, the Queen especially ordered that for the first time ever, the honored ceremony of the Changing of the Guard should be altered with the American National Anthem being played before God Save the Queen. And today, the British Parliament is having an emergency session with a statement from Tony Blair (ph) who's promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. and it's the same across Europe. There have been church services in many capitals across Europe. There has been a vigil in Moscow. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, there was a five-minute silence there.

And all this outpouring of public sympathy is being reflected in very strong language of solidarity from the politicians.

VASSILEVA: Robin, what kind of support is Europe considering at this point? Is it considering military support?

OAKLEY: Yes, I spoke yesterday, Ralitsa, to the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, and I questioned him directly on this. I said, "Does this standing shoulder-to-shoulder mean simply moral support or is it military support?" He was absolutely clear NATO is making it absolutely clear they've invoked Article Five of the NATO Constitution saying that what happened in New York and the Pentagon is conceived as an attack on all 19 NATO members.

There is going to be considerable discussion about what level of response they would like to see from the United States. There are worries it has to be said in some countries about just how high that level should be. Jack Straw was saying that it is important, too, that any targeted action is targeted on the right suspects.

I think there are worries from parliamentarians in some countries that over indiscriminate actions, perhaps with women and children suffering might only cause the outbreak of further terrorism.

So they want the action to be strictly targeted and the words that we use on our British radio station this morning of Henry Kissinger, "cool, relentless pursuit," were echoed by a number of British parliamentarians immediately afterwards. That's the kind of reaction they want to see.

(INAUDIBLE)

VASSILEVA: Robin, thank you. John.

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