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Action by the European Union following the attacks in the United States of America
1. The European Union declares its total solidarity with the United States, with which it shares the objectives of combating terrorism. It reiterates the importance of its close consultations with the United States. It confirms its wholehearted support for the action taken in the context of legitimate defence and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and Security Council resolution 1368 (2001).
2. The General Affairs Council has reiterated the importance of a multilateral and global approach under the aegis of the United Nations in order to strengthen the international coalition in its fight against terrorism in all its aspects. The European Union will act with determination within the United Nations and the other competent international organizations to further the fight against terrorism. It will take advantage, in particular, of the ministerial session of the General Assembly to be held in November to advance its objectives.
3. Emergency humanitarian aid in Afghanistan is an absolute priority of the European Union, which undertakes to mobilize without delay aid amounting to more than 320 million euros (EUR). In this respect, the releasing of EUR 25 million from the reserve will enable the Commission (ECHO) to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs. Mobilization and convoying of aid will be regularly examined.
4. The General Affairs Council expresses its concern at the difficulties of access and of convoying humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. It supports the efforts of the United Nations specialized agencies, of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of all humanitarian organizations to seek practical and flexible solutions. The Council also appeals to the countries of the region to facilitate by all means possible the humanitarian operations for hosting fresh flows of Afghan refugees and will implement the necessary means to assist them in doing so.
5. The General Affairs Council has agreed on the following points to guide the Union’s future proceedings on Afghanistan, once it is freed of the al Qa‘ida network and of its terrorists:
• The establishment in Afghanistan of a stable, legitimate and broadly representative government, expressing the will of the people;
• The essential role of the United Nations in seeking a peace plan for Afghanistan;
• Maintaining absolute priority for emergency humanitarian aid;
• A plan for the reconstruction of the country;
• The regional dimension of the stabilization of Afghanistan.
It instructs the Presidency, the High Representative and the Commission to make contact without delay with the international community, in particular the Secretary-General of the United Nations and his personal representative, Mr. Brahimi, in order to contribute effectively to United Nations efforts.
6. The General Affairs Council has decided to intensify the relations of the European Union with the countries neighbouring Afghanistan in order to contribute to the stability of the region. The political dialogue with Pakistan, whose efforts in the current situation are deserving of praise, will be stepped up. The signing of a cooperation agreement with Pakistan will be envisaged. The Council notes the proposals made by the Commission regarding trade and welcomes its intention to provide financial assistance, in coordination with international financial institutions.
7. The President of the General Affairs Council informed the Indian Government on 15 October 2001 of the European Union’s intention to define, with a view to the European Union/India Summit to be held on 23 November 2001, intensification of the political dialogue and cooperation with that country.
8. While continuing the political dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the General Affairs Council welcomes the Commission’s undertaking to submit in November 2001 negotiating directives for a trade and cooperation agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
9. Relations with the countries of Central Asia will be developed more actively. The General Affairs Council noted the Commission’s intention of submitting at the earliest opportunity a communication on Central Asia, including concrete initiatives in the context of strengthening the relations of the European Union with these countries. The Council also invited the High Representative to make proposals.
10. Further to the ministerial Troika mission held at the end of September 2001, the European Union is determined to continue a close and coordinated political dialogue with our Arab and Muslim partners, and invites the Presidency and the High Representative to keep the General Affairs Council informed.
11. The European Union emphasizes the urgent need to relaunch the Middle East peace process. Recalling its declaration of 8 October 2001, the General Affairs Council invited the High representative to continue, with the United States and the principal players, his efforts to bring the parties to the conflicts in the Middle East to work towards a political settlement, based on the principle of the establishment of a Palestinian state and the right of Israel to live in peace and security.
12. The member States will consult each other on the measures they take, in particular in order to ensure the effectiveness of ministerial visits in the region.
13. Furthermore, the European Union will be more effective in developing the Common Foreign Security Policy and making the European Security and Defence Policy operational as soon as possible.
14. The General Affairs Council examined the Presidency’s report on the work done by the various configurations of the General Affairs Council on the fight against terrorism.
15. It welcomes the fact that, in all the configurations of the General Affairs Council, work on stepping up the fight against terrorism is progressing satisfactorily and has already produced its initial results. The conclusions of the extraordinary informal European Council of 21 September 2001 have everywhere produced effects. It noted in particular the following results:
• The measures which have already been taken, in particular pursuant to Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), against the sources that fund terrorism, such as the political agreement on the directive against money-laundering, application in full of the Financial Action Task Force measures and freezing the assets of persons and organizations linked to the Taliban;
• Work in progress to draw up a list of terrorist organizations and the valuable contribution made by the intelligence services; the Council believes that their regular meetings are vital if terrorism is to be combated successfully; the Council approved a system of indicators making it possible to evaluate the commitment and the cooperation of third countries in the fight against terrorism;
• The progress already made in the examination of Commission proposals on the European arrest warrant and terrorist offences and the establishment of a coordinated European Union position in the context of the conclusion of a global United Nations convention on international terrorism; the Council requests that at the same time consideration should be given to any measure facilitating mutual assistance with third countries concerning the pursuit of terrorists or terrorist organizations;
• The many current contacts with the United States of America, in particular the Troika’s meeting at operational level planned for 19 October 2001 in Washington, D.C., which will include representatives from the Police Task Force, EUROPOL’s anti-terrorism group, EUROJUST and the intelligence services.
16. The General Affairs Council welcomed the road map submitted by the Presidency, which sets out all the initiatives and work carried out by the Council and lists those responsible for implementation, the time frames and progress made. The Council asked for the road map to be regularly updated by “ Coreper”. It considers this to be an essential instrument for measuring the results obtained in all configurations of the Council. It is on the basis of the updated road map that at its next meeting the Council will examine further progress.
17. The General Affairs Council instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to ensure that, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), the European Union reports back on the measures it has taken to implement that resolution.