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President Romano Prodi
European Commission
Brussels, Belgium
September 12, 2001

Please observe a minute's thoughtful silence in memory of the victims of this dreadful and tragic event.

This morning the Commission held an extraordinary meeting.

We observed a minute's silence and then discussed various political aspects for which the Commission has particular responsibility.

This afternoon I shall go to the European Parliament and the General Affairs Council (Foreign Ministers). The Commission stressed, and I shall reaffirm, the need to send the strongest possible signal of European solidarity with the American people and I will call for a common European approach to all aspects of this tragedy.

The Commission expressed its horror at these acts of barbaric crime, its compassion for the victims and their families and its solidarity with the American people.

We share their grief, mourn with them and commit ourselves to working together with President Bush and the U.S. Government to build a safe, democratic world for all our peoples.

We have acted to protect our own staff and interests in Europe and in our overseas delegations. We stand ready to offer any practical assistance we can. I conveyed this message to the US Ambassador yesterday evening. Our economy and social structures are strong and resilient and we remain calm and confident. Our co-operation with the USA in the fight against terrorism is more necessary than ever and must be pursued with renewed vigour.

This barbaric attack was directed against the free world and our common values. It is a watershed event and life will never be quite the same again. European Institutions and Governments will work closely together with our American friends and partners in the defence of freedom.

We shall not allow terrorism to triumph. We shall not allow terrorism to divide the world, as its perpetrators intend it to. We shall deny them this victory.

In the darkest hours of European history, the Americans stood by us. We stand by them now.

END