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UNITED
NATIONS
S

        Security Council
Distr.
GENERAL
S/2001/968
15 October 2001

English
Original: French

Letter dated 8 October 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Belgium
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to draw your attention to the conclusions of the General Affairs Council of the European Union issued on 8 October 2001, on behalf of the European Union, on action by the European Union following the attacks in the United States (see annex).

I should be grateful if you could arrange for the text of this letter and its annex to be circulated as a document of the Security Council.


(Signed) Jean De Ruyt
Permanent Representative


Annex to the letter dated 8 October 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Belgium
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

Conclusions of the General Affairs Council of the European Union issued on 8 October 2001,
on behalf of the European Union, on action by the European Union
following the attacks in the United States

1. The Council reaffirms the determination of the European Union and its Member States to play their full part, in a coordinated manner, in the global coalition against terrorism, under United Nations aegis. Terrorism is a real challenge for Europe and the world and poses a threat to our security and our stability.

2. The Union will continue to strengthen its partnership with the United States on the basis of enhanced cooperation and consultation, in accordance with the joint Ministerial Statement of 20 September and in the light of the recent talks held by the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission in Washington on 28 September.

3. The Union has taken a number of initiatives to extend the anti-terrorist coalition and to make it effective. It stresses the importance of its relations with its Arab and Muslim partners. Between 24 and 28 September the troika visited Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Egypt, where it also held talks with the leaders of the League of Arab States in order to emphasize, in particular, that the European Union categorically rejects any equation of groups of fanatical terrorists with the Arab and Muslim world. Individual talks were held with the Russian Federation at the European Union-Russian Federation Summit on 3 October in Brussels. Following the adoption of the Joint Statement at that Summit, the Council emphasizes the need to intensify and strengthen the dialogue with Russia, particularly in the area of combating terrorism.

4. The Council welcomes the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) by the United Nations Security Council and the establishment of the Committee provided for in that resolution. It recalls that the Union and its Member States have committed themselves to the swift adoption of the measures necessary for its full implementation.

5. The Council reiterates the Union’s determination to attack the sources which fund terrorism, in close cooperation with the United States. It notes that the Commission is taking the necessary measures to freeze the assets of the persons identified by the Sanctions Committee set up under Security Council resolution 1267 (1999).

6. The Union will continue its close contacts with its partners in the Barcelona Process, notably at the ministerial meeting on 6 November, and with the Gulf countries. It will support the intention of the African partners to draw up a draft initiative against terrorism at the European Union-Africa ministerial meeting on 11 October. A ministerial-level meeting of the European Conference will be held on 20 October to discuss the fight against terrorism. It will provide an opportunity for greater involvement of the candidate countries and for inviting the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova for the first time, as “special guests”. The United Nations, notably the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, will provide a key forum for pursuing the objectives of the Union.

7. Afghanistan:

• The Council adopted a separate declaration following the riposte in Afghanistan ;

• The Union and its Member States will do everything possible to prevent a humanitarian tragedy in Afghanistan and in the adjacent countries. This must be done in close cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other specialized agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United States, the adjacent countries and other partners within multilateral organizations. In this regard, the Council welcomes the first measures taken by the Commission to assist the refugees, and asks it to submit new ones without delay;

• The European Union stands ready to back, when the time comes, a political process initiated in Afghanistan with United Nations support, and to contribute to the rebuilding, modernization, development and opening up of that country.

8. The Council agreed on the following guidelines:

• The Union and its Member States will act within a multilateral and bilateral framework to promote the signing, ratification and swift implementation of all existing international agreements on the fight against terrorism, as well as the finalization of negotiations on the draft Global Convention on Terrorism;

• In order to carry out a systematic assessment of the Union’s relations with third countries in the light of their possible support for terrorism, a reference framework will be drawn up. In this connection, the Council notes that the Commission intends to submit to it in due course proposals concerning relations conducted within the framework of the Community;

• In the present circumstances, the Union’s relations with certain countries must be re-examined:

– The dialogue with Pakistan, which was initiated thanks to the troika mission, will be continued and developed. Furthermore, the Council invites the Commission to examine ways of reinforcing Community assistance to Islamabad, in particular by contemplating the signing of a third-generation cooperation agreement with Pakistan;

– Consultations with Islamic Republic of Iran will be stepped up with a view to the negotiation of a trade and cooperation agreement with that country;

– With a view to the second European Union-India Summit, the European Union will define how cooperation with India is to be strengthened;

– The Union must also strengthen its involvement and its relations with the countries of Central Asia. The Council calls on its competent bodies and on the Commission to submit proposals to it to that end. The Union will make a substantial contribution to the Bichkek Conference on 13 and 14 December, which will be discussing the fight against terrorism.

9. The Union reaffirms its support of non-proliferation and disarmament, and its desire to continue the efforts already underway to prevent and stabilize regional conflicts.

10. The Council reaffirms the need to return to a genuine political process in order to resolve the conflict in the Middle East. It reiterates its commitment in that respect and asks the High Representative to continue his work.

11. The General Affairs Council will examine the progress made at its next meeting.



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