Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Interview on CNN's Larry King Live
October 5, 2001

KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, from his office in Berlin, Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, chancellor of Germany. Mr. Chancellor, you have said that the United States and --you have unlimited solidarity with the United States. Does that mean what it sounds like? Everything unlimited?

GERHARD SCHROEDER, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): Well, that indeed does say what I have said, unreserved solidarity and unswerving solidarity. This does, of course, include the assistance of what the NATO counsel has decided today. We pushed for that, in fact, I have to say. But that explicitly does also include other forms of assistance, including military assistance, and it will be up to the U.S. American government to say and to tell us where, in fact, we can be helpful. And if we have the capabilities to do so, we're by their side.

KING: Are you concerned, Mr. Chancellor, that apparently so many of the plans and involvements were made in your country, that this activity, the planning, took place in Germany?

SCHROEDER: Well, I think, Larry, I don't think we should go into the question as to where -- the planning and plotting was done and where you find individual culprits. I mean, out of the 90 names that we know, three come from Germany, that is regrettable enough. What is now important is that we hunt these terrorists on a global scale. That we go about getting them and putting them down.

KING: Are you concerned about terrorism in your country, Mr. Chancellor?

SCHROEDER: Well of course. I mean, each and every responsible person in office will now be worried about potential assaults on their country. But it is my job to make sure that such concern does not grow into fear, because fear always paralyzes people, paralyzes politicians and paralyzes your ability to respond and react and to fight against global terrorism. And that is why concern, yes, but no fear.

KING: Mr. Chancellor, we have received reports that the German police are seeking out Islamic extremists in your country, and that there is some controversy between those who want civil liberties upheld and those who feel when terrorism occurs, extreme measures have to be taken.

SCHROEDER: Now we're obviously defending values here. The U.S. American's just as much as the Germans are doing, values such as democracy, freedom, the state of law. And we must not let the terrorists have this victory that they can destroy our values. And that is why we'll find a clear-cut balance between the readiness to defend themselves on the one hand side of state authorities and police authorities, and that will be improved on step-by-step whilst maintaining our freedom.

On the other hand, civil freedoms and civic freedom, that is a permanent balance, actually, that you need to bear in mind. We're always bearing this in mind whenever our security and law enforcement authorities get new information, and also through our cooperation with the FBI, with the CIA, will draw consequences for this, because there cannot be any freedom without security and reliability -- not in the U.S., not here, nor anywhere else in the world.

KING: Mr. Chancellor, what is your assessment of President Bush to this minute?

SCHROEDER: I have to say, I have the deepest respect for the U.S. American president. I have to say, in fact, I do deeply respect the whole of his administration, because he is faced with a tremendously difficult task here, and he goes about solving it in a fantastic way, I can only say.

So I can only congratulate him upon the way, how he and how the United States of America has dealt with this terrible situation, how they deal with their problems and how consistently, in fact, they have gone about forming a global coalition, a global alliance against these terrorists. Because we also see that military measures, as necessary as they might ever be, will not be the cure-all in this situation.

So we need political, diplomatic, economic levers as well that we need to use. Those will have to be added if we want to be successful here. And that is why I think there is no reason whatsoever here, to utter any word of criticism. On the contrary, let me repeat that the U.S. Administration has our full and unswerving support.

KING: And what about relations now with your country and Russia, with the way Mr. Putin has acted? Are we going to see closer ties there?

SCHROEDER: Well, indeed, I'd say those close ties have always been in existence. I mean the simple fact being that we as Europeans are a lot closer, geographically speaking, to the Russians. But it has also got something to do with the fact that when President Putin actually truly trying and successfully, in fact, trying to get his country closer to the West.

I mean things like democracy and the market economy are being pushed by him in Russia. And I think he has a certain degree of success already in doing so. And I think that the Russian president, in fighting terrorism, has really fully and whole-heartedly taken the side of those who have just brought together this global alliance.

I have had a lot of conversations with George W. Bush, your president, and with other senior representatives of the U.S. American Administration, and time and again, I have pointed out how necessary it is to have Russia on board, to have them not as opponents, but far rather, have a solid partnership with Russia, to start this, get into it and maintain it through the coming period.

And my impression is that the voting pattern, the voting attitude that Russia has shown and the United Nations Security Council, has been such that we have seen that it's been overly supportive, really. But I'm sure that this is also the stance adopted by President Bush and the American administration.

Larry, you'll know how important it was that President Putin and the American president met in Slovenia at the time and from there, actually, that has paved a straight forward path to what we are seeing now and we have to highlight this time and again, in the United Nations.

KING: Mr. Chancellor, in this war against terrorism, are you optimistic?

SCHROEDER: I am (AUDIO GAP) will win this war, let me tell you that. I am definite that we will lay our hands on those terrorists. We will get hold of those regimes that protect them, that feed them, give them training ground. We'll be able to isolate their regimes. I am firmly convinced that is going to happen because our principles of democracy, of the state of law, of freedom are so awe-inspiring and overly important for the vast majority of people, that we will win.

KING: Thank you so much, Mr. Chancellor. An honor to have you with us on LARRY KING LIVE.

SCHROEDER: Thank you very much. My pleasure. See you next time.