ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARIANS AGREE TO FIGHT TERRORISM ON ALL FRONTS


Date: 01-08-2002

The East-West Wire is a news service provided by the East-West Center in Honolulu. For more information, contact Susan Kreifels at 808-944-7176 or EastWestWire@EastWestCenter.org

ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARIANS AGREE TO FIGHT TERRORISM ON ALL FRONTS

Today: Terrorism resolution passed http://www.eastwestcenter.org/stored/misc/JtCom-21.pdf

Today: Speech by Adm. Dennis Blair, commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command: http://www.pacom.mil/speeches/sst2002/020108rsc.htm

Yesterday: James Kelly, assistant U.S. secretary of state, East Asian and Pacific Affairs http://www.eastwestcenter.org/stored/misc/kelly.pdf

Yesterday: Dennis Hastert, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives http://www.eastwestcenter.org/stored/misc/hastert.pdf

HONOLULU (Jan. 8) -- Terming the Sept.11 terrorist attacks "an unforgivable assault on all humanity," delegates at the 10th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum called for all countries to seek solutions to a wide variety of political, economic and social problems, including poverty and regional conflicts, which terrorists could use to justify their attacks.

U.S. military and congressional leaders strengthened that call in speeches to forum delegates. Adm. Dennis Blair, commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command, said there is growing multilateral cooperation among armed forces in the region and that the military forces share the same concern: Solving problems like terrorism and narcotics trafficking "is beyond the resources and authority of any single country and its armed forces. These enemies draw on worldwide networks of support. They use international borders to their advantage. These foes can only be defeated by international cooperation.

"The Asia Pacific region does not have well-developed arrangements for regional military cooperation. Yet, regional cooperation is the key to success against these threats to the security of all of our citizens."

Sen. Tom Daschle, U.S. Majority Leader, said "Hard history has taught us that we cannot withdraw from the world and its challenges...I want to assure (you) the United States of America is determined to remain a strong partner and active participant in the family of nations."

The terrorism resolution passed by delegates today stressed that the global reach of international terrorists means that no country or economy is immune to terrorist attacks. It underlined the need to maintain and strengthen broad-based global cooperation against terrorism that transcends religious, ethnic and cultural boundaries, not condemning any particular religion or ethnic group.

Blair said "there is no second Afghanistan" in the region but a sustained regional campaign is necessary as Al Qaeda "looks for places to establish new cells and new training camps or as other terrorist networks seek to expand in Asia and the Pacific."

Answering questions from delegates, Blair said U.S. special forces sent to the Philippines to help train forces there in anti-terrorism tactics must be careful that any tactics "go after the bad people, not the good." He said governments must also address the underlying factors of insurgency and terrorism, problems like poverty, and approach such problems "across the board," deciding how to allocate resources.

He said the U.S. troops would be deploying to the Philippines in the next few weeks and that it would be a difficult mission that could take months.He stressed it must be done the "right way."

In answer to a question from a delegate, Blair said he didn't know if the war on terrorism would expand to Iraq.

The forum lasts through tomorrow. About 100 delegates from the parliaments of 25 Asia-Pacific nations are also discussing global warming, information technology, education, and Asia-Pacific cooperation. For more information on the forum hit http://www.appf.org.pe/
This is an East-West Wire, copyright East-West Center