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France
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (excerpts)
Interview with TF1
September 12, 2001

I've been in touch with our embassy and companies concerned, such as Crédit agricole. There appear to be very few French victims. Of course I'm thinking of them, and their families, but also of the huge number of American victims and all those who are affected. Because every hour which passes reveals both the scale and horror of what happened in American cities yesterday.

Precisely, President George Bush has described those acts as "acts of war". What does that mean for France, an ally of the United States?

We're totally at one with the United States in the terrible ordeal Americans are suffering. We're utterly determined to join battle against terrorism as we have always done. But we don't want to confuse terrorist groups with the Islamic world as a whole, where we have friends and partners.

It is my duty, of course, with the government - which is why this afternoon I called another meeting of the ministers concerned

- to ensure the protection of the French population.

Does yesterday's decision to reinforce the measures brought in under the Vigipirate plan allow us to hope for zero risk?

You know, had zero risk been possible, what took place in the United States wouldn't have happened. Simply, we have ourselves looked carefully at the nature of those threats, at whether our country can be targeted - we haven't had any indications today that it is - and are taking, through the mobilization of the police, the armed forces, the gendarmerie the utmost precautions in every public place to ensure maximum security for our fellow citizens.

France hasn't been directly threatened?


France has in the past been hit by terrorist acts. We have at times felt the existence of threats. It's too early to analyse what's happened: was the United States the only target? Can other countries be targeted too? Of course, we're cooperating with our European neighbours and the Americans in order to get a clearer analysis. I repeat: we are taking every possible measure to protect our population.

Isn't cohabitation hindering the operation of the French authorities?

There's been nothing done or said which could give that impression. You can be sure that, in circumstances of this sort, the government and President work together.

END