President Jacques Chirac
September 11, 2001
My dear compatriots,
The attacks that struck the United States today are a terrible tragedy. Never
has any country in the world been the target of terrorist attacks of such scope
or of such violence.
I want to convey to the American people once again the solidarity of the entire
French people during this tragic ordeal. Our thoughts go out in particular to
all the victims, to their families, and to their dear ones.
What happened in the United States concerns us all. I can imagine the feelings
of each and every one of you this evening--feelings of horror and perhaps anxiety--and
I thought it was my duty to speak to you.
At this stage, we do not know either the authors or the reasons for these barbarous
acts. However, the situation requires sang-froid as well as vigilance and mobilization.
That is why I called a meeting of my principle cabinet members this evening
at the Elysée, attended by the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Foreign
Affairs, Defense, the Interior and Transportation
The Government immediately took the necessary precautionary measures, and the
Vigipirate plan, which you are already familiar with, was put into effect. We
are acting in close coordination with the Prime Minister, of course, and naturally
all government authorities have been mobilized.
In addition, I am in contact with other European leaders, so that we may be
sure that our decisions are properly coordinated. And I have just had long conversations
in particular with the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and the British Prime
Minister Tony Blair.
France knows that fighting terrorism effectively can only be done through determined,
collective action. And it will do what must be done.