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France
President Jacques Chirac
Speech on Fight Against International Terrorism
October 7, 2001

On September 11, 2001, Canada and the world looked on, in shock and disbelief, as the deadliest terrorist attack in history was carried out against thousands of defenceless victims in New York and Washington.

This was an act of pre-meditated murder. On a massive scale. With no possible justification or explanation. An attack not just on our closest friend and partner the United States. But against the values and way of life of all free and civilized people around the world .

From the moment of the attack, I have been in close communication with President George Bush. Who has been a symbol to the world of courage, resolve and wisdom. I told him that Canada stands shoulder-to-shoulder with him and the American people.

We are part of an unprecedented coalition of nations that has come together to fight the threat of terrorism. A coalition that will act on a broad front that includes military, humanitarian. diplomatic, financial, legislative, and domestic security initiatives. I have made it clear from the very beginning that Canada would be part of this coalition every step of the way.

On Friday evening, the United States asked Canada to make certain contributions as part of a multi-national military coalition against international terrorism. I immediately instructed our Minister of National Defence to agree. Yesterday, I met with the Chief of the National Defence Staff to confirm the type of role that Canada was being asked to play.

And shortly before noon today I confirmed to President Bush in a telephone conversation that we will provide the military support requested.

Just after noon I instructed the Chief of the Defence Staff to issue a warning order to a number of units of our Armed Forces to ensure their readiness.

All Canadians understand what is being asked of the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families. As always, they are ready to serve. As always, they will do Canada proud.

I have spoken, as well, to the leaders of the opposition parties. Who pledged their support and cooperation. And I thank them for that.

While I obviously will not be able to provide the Canadian people with operational information that could endanger the lives, I intend to offer regular up-dates on our objectives and efforts.

I will meet with my Cabinet this week. And a take-note debate will be held in Parliament on Monday of next week.

We will also be introducing a series of program and legislative steps to deal with the threat of terrorism.

I would like to thank all the Canadians who have worked round-the-clock to come to the aid of our American friends in their time of need.

I have made clear in the days since September 11th that the struggle to defeat the forces of terrorism will be a long one.

We must remain strong and vigilant. We must insist on living on our terms. According to our values. Not on terms dictated from the shadows.

I cannot promise that the campaign against terrorism will be painless. But I can promise that it will be won!

END