President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Statement on U.S. Operations Against Strategic Targets in Afghanistan
Planalto Palace
Brasilia, Brazil
October 7, 2001

I have learned early this afternoon of the military operations against targets in Afghanistan.

This is a grave moment that was nonetheless expected in view of the brutality of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Secretary of State Colin Powell phoned me today on behalf of President George W. Bush to let me know that these operations are aimed exclusively at military targets and that they will endeavor to spare the civilian population. The Secretary of State conveyed President Bush’s appreciation for Brazil’s support of, and solidarity with the United States in the fight against terrorism.

I wish to reiterate that this is a fight of the entire international community and no hesitation or compromise should be condoned.

The Brazilian people’s peaceful inclination and repudiation of terrorism are constitutional tenets that govern our country’s foreign policy.

Our position is clear. By repudiating terrorism in any form, regardless of its perpetrators, we are siding with reason and wisdom. This conflict is not being engaged against a people, a State or a religion. The objective is solely to contain and eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

I hope—and I am sure that this hope is shared by all—that the operations launched today will entail no tragic consequences, and that they will seek to prevent the loss of innocent lives and preserve the civilian population.