Terrorist attacks in the United States

Terrorist attacks in the United States

Declaration by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic,

Paris 11.09.2001

My dear compatriots,

The attacks which hit the United States of America today are a horrifying tragedy. No country in the world has ever been the target of terrorist attacks on such a large scale, or so violent.

I want once again to express to the American people the solidarity of all the French in this tragic ordeal. In particular, our thoughts go to all the victims, their families, their loved-ones.

What happened in the United States concerns us all. I can imagine how you are all feeling this evening, how horrified you are and perhaps worried, and I thought it my duty to speak to you.

At this stage, we know neither the perpetrators of, nor the reasons for these barbarous acts. Nevertheless, the situation requires not just calm, but vigilance and mobilization too.

This is why this evening I called to a meeting at the Elysée the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, the Interior and Transport.

The necessary precautionary measures were immediately taken by the government, and the Vigipirate plan, with which you are familiar, has been brought into operation. We are of course working closely with the Prime Minister and, obviously, all the public authorities are mobilized.

Moreover, I am in touch with the other European leaders, so that our decisions are well coordinated. And in particular I have just talked at length to the German Chancellor, Mr Schröder, and the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair.

France knows that we can effectively combat terrorism only through resolute collective action. And she will do what must be done.

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