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America Under Attack: Tony Blair Addresses Parliament

Aired September 14, 2001 - 04:40   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.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. financials markets are closed on this day but Europe is trading. And for an update now on world markets, we join Richard Quest in London -- Richard.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jonathan, many thanks indeed.

Yes, both Asia and European investors continue to hold their nerve this Friday despite the uncertainty over how Wall Street will react. That happens on Monday at 9:30 Eastern.

Let's get an update on what's happening in European markets. Liz George is at the London Stock Exchange -- Liz.

LIZ GEORGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, thanks.

We are holding our nerve down here on the European markets in London -- in the city of London as well. We've seen a little bit of wavering around going on in and out of negative territory and it's extremely light trade. So really people are saying that there's prices all over the place. People don't really know where to set these prices. They're very, very uncertain, but however, they're trying their best really to retain calm within the markets.

I will show you the figures at the moment, we're essentially flat on London's FTSE. Germany's DAX is up around 0.2 percent at the moment, and in Paris, the CAC Quarante is up 0.47. It's the technology stocks in Paris which are helping a little bit there, and in Germany, it's the large insurance companies and the reinsurers which are actually helping to support that market a little bit there.

But the note of caution really is that it's very, very light trade. These figures don't really mean anything at the moment. Everybody's waiting to find out what's going to happen when the U.S. markets reopen. However, there is a feeling that the fighting spirit really will return when those U.S. markets do open and that the effort will be to keep calm in the market, to do everything that's possible to prevent things like shorting the market and driving it down and really to keep calm across all of these European bourses and help the U.S. markets to retain calm as well. Richard.

QUEST: Liz George, many thanks indeed.

Meanwhile, Asian investors are reacting differently to events. Tokyo Nikkei jumped 4 percent taking comfort from stability. We're now going to join the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Parliament.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Some sectors like the airlines and insurance industry will be badly affected. The financial markets have quickly stabilized, the oil producers have helped keep the oil price steady and businesses proceed (AUDIO GAP) far as possible, as normal.

So there are three things which we must now take forward urgently. First, we must bring to justice those responsible. Rightly, President Bush and the United States government have proceeded with care. They did not lash out. They did not strike first and think afterwards. Their very deliberation is a measure of the seriousness of their intent. They, together with allies, will want to identify with care those responsible. This is a judgement that must and will be based on hard evidence. Once that judgement is made, the appropriate action can be taken. It will be determined, it will take time, it will continue over time until this menace is properly dealt with and its machinery of terror destroyed.

But one thing should be very clear, by their acts these terrorists and those behind them have made themselves the enemies of the entire civilized world. Their objective we know. Our objective will be to bring to account those who have organized, aided, abetted and incited this act of infamy, and those that harbor or help them have a choice either to cease their protection of our enemies or be treated as an enemy themselves.

Secondly, this is a moment when every difference between nations, every divergence of interest, every irritant in our relations should be put to one side in one common endeavor. The world should stand together against this outrage. NATO has already, for the first time since it was founded in 1949, invoked Article V and determined that this attack in America will be considered as an attack against the alliance as a whole. The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution which set out its readiness to take all necessary steps to combat terrorism. From Russia, China, the European Union, from Arab states, from Asia and the Americas from every continent of the world has come united condemnation. This solidarity must be maintained and then translated into support for action.

Mr. Speaker, we do not yet know the exact origin of this evil, but if, as appears likely, it is so-called Islamic fundamentalists, we know that they do not speak or act for the vast majority of decent law abiding Muslims throughout this world. I say to our Arab and Muslim friends, neither you nor Islam is responsible for this. On the contrary, we know you share our shock at this terrorism and we ask you as friends to make common cause with us in defeating this barbarism that is totally foreign to the true spirit and teachings of Islam. And I would add that now, more than ever, we have reason not to let the Middle East peace process slip still further but if at all possible to reinvigorate it and move it forward. Thirdly, whatever the nature of the immediate response to these terrible events in America, we need to rethink dramatically the scale and nature of the action the world takes to combat terrorism. We know a good deal about many of these terror groups but as a world we have not been effective at dealing with them. And of course it is difficult, we are democratic, they are not. We have respect for human life, they do not. We hold essentially liberal values, they do not. As we look into these issues, it is important that we never lose sight of our basic values, but we have to understand the nature of this enemy and act accordingly.

Civil liberties are a vital part of our country and of our democratic world, but the most basic liberty of all is the right of the ordinary citizen to go about their business free from fear or terror. That liberty has been denied in the cruelest way imaginable to the passengers aboard the hijacked planes, to those who perished in the Trade Towers and the Pentagon, to the hundreds of rescue workers killed as they tried to help. So we need to look once more nationally and internationally at extradition laws and the mechanisms for international justice, at how these terrorist groups are financed and their money laundered and the links between terror and crime. And we need to frame a response that will work and will hold internationally for this form of terror knows no mercy, no pity and it knows no boundaries.

And let us make this reflection too, a week ago, anyone suggesting that terrorists would kill thousands of innocent people in downtown New York would have been dismissed as alarmist, yet it happened. We know that these groups are fanatics, capable of killing without discrimination. The limits on the numbers that they kill and their methods of killing are not governed by any sense of morality. The limits are only practical and technical. We know that they would, if they could, go further and use chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons of mass destruction. We know also that there are groups or people, occasionally states, who will trade the technology and capability of such weapons. It is time this trade was exposed, disrupted and stamped out. We have been warned by the events of the 11th of September and we should act on this warning.

So there is a great deal to do, many details to be filled in, much careful work to be undertaken over the coming days and weeks and months. We need to mourn the dead and then act to protect the living. Terrorism has taken on a new and frightening aspect. The people perpetrating it wear the ultimate badge of the fanatic. They are prepared to commit suicide, to die in pursuit of their beliefs. Our beliefs are the very opposite of those of the fanatics. We believe in reason, democracy and tolerance.

And these beliefs are the foundation of our civilized world. They are enduring, they have served us well and as history has shown, we have been prepared to fight when necessary to defend them. The fanatics should know that we hold our beliefs every bit as strongly as they hold theirs and now is the time to show it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) QUEST: The British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressing a recall of Parliament, an indication of the seriousness of the event. It's only the 18th time that Parliament has been recalled since 1948.

To assess what Mr. Blair said, I'm joined by CNN's European political editor, he's Robin Oakley.

Robin, terrorists have made themselves the enemies of the civilized world.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, we've had the theme already from Mr. Blair, this is an attack not just on the United States but on democratic values worldwide. Key phrase I think when he said we stand by our friends, and quite clearly, whatever reservations there may be in any other quarters, in NATO or elsewhere, there will be full military support from Britain for United States action.

Interesting that Mr. Blair commended the United States for not striking back immediately without thinking, and he talked about a long slog ahead, a period of care finding out exactly who was responsible and exactly the right way of hitting back at them.

QUEST: But hitting back at them, clearly the Prime Minister standing full square with the U.S. president. Mr. Blair saying we must expose, disrupt and stamp out the terrorism. That's military action.

OAKLEY: Indeed, it is military action. And I think again, an important part of what Mr. Blair had to say was that the countries who harbor the terrorists now have a choice, they can either be treated as the enemies of the civilized world and continue to harbor or they can come aboard. But clearly there is an intention on the behalf of the United States and of Britain to hit back at countries who harbor terrorists as well as the terrorists themselves.

QUEST: The British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday that we know up to 100 British citizens have lost their lives along with those of other nations and it could be in the middle hundreds. This is clearly more than just a U.S. -- a U.S. incident in that sense.

OAKLEY: Oh absolutely, I mean there are countries all over the world now counting their dead in the Twin Towers in the United States. And across Europe, we're hearing more and more noise of casualties. In Britain, ministers are saying privately it could be a total of up to 500.

But just one other note I think we need to introduce here, Mr. Blair was very careful to say although he pointed the finger at Islamic fundamentalists, the Muslim community as a whole, he said, must not be blamed. I think there are strong worries among the politicians of a backlash against Muslim communities everywhere.

QUEST: Robin Oakley, many thanks indeed.

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair, you see there with Ian Duncan Smith, the new leader of the opposition, talking to the British Parliament. And a recall, the first time it's been recalled back into summer recess for -- it's the only 18th time it's happened since 1948.

Now back to CNN Center in Atlanta.

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