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France
President Jacques Chirac
Joint Press Conference with President George W. Bush
Washington, D.C.
September 18, 2001

THE PRESIDENT – The French people were tremendously shocked, as you know, shocked as they've never been before probably, at these tragic events which one can't even describe, which go beyond the criminal. I wanted to tell President Bush, who is my friend, and then all the American people, first that France and the French people are totally supportive, that their solidarity is heartfelt.

I also wanted to tell him, tell them, that we are absolutely determined to fight, with all the efficacy it takes, against this new type of absolute evil the president mentioned a moment ago, which is terrorism.

And I wanted to tell him, tell them, too, that France is ready to consider every means that can be employed to make this fight against terrorism effective so that this evil of our times is truly eradicated.

Do you think we're talking about war?

THE PRESIDENT - I don't know whether one should use the word 'war.' What is certain is that we're facing a new kind of conflict, a conflict decisive for preserving human rights, freedom and human dignity, and that everything must be done to protect these core values of our civilization. And so we are naturally inclined, as I just said, to be totally supportive, naturally, of the United States and to do everything, in consultation with it, that we think useful or necessary to achieve this vital objective for our planet--the eradication of terrorism.

I might add, as you can see, that virtually all the world's leaders today are taking the same line.

END