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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 23:00 GMT
Bush urges anti-terror allies to act
French President Jacques Chirac with American President George Bush
Bush: Coalition must do more than express sympathy
President George W Bush, warning that Osama Bin Laden is seeking to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, has challenged Washington's coalition partners to make a tangible contribution to the war against terror.

Speaking after talks with French President Jacques Chirac, Mr Bush bluntly stated that those nations not "for" the US were "against us".

All nations, if they want to fight terror, must do something... You're either with us or you're against us

President Bush

"A coalition partner must do more than just express sympathy," he said. "A coalition partner must perform."

BBC correspondent John Lyne said that Mr Bush's comments were a "spine-stiffening operation" aimed at countering any ebbing support for the war against terrorism and ensuring that the rest of the world was behind the US.

Mr Bush did not single out any country for failing to support the US-led campaign, although he said that in his upcoming speech to the UN General Assembly this weekend he intended to urge members of the coalition to exchange statements of sympathy for real action.

President Chirac pledged continued French support, but opinion polls show growing doubts about the military action in Afghanistan among the French public.

Latest opinion polls in Poland also showed that support for military action is falling, with only 30% favouring sending their troops into Afghanistan compared to 60% immediately after the attacks on the US. So far, the Czech Republic is the only country in the region that says it is preparing forces for action - an anti-chemical warfare unit.

In other developments

  • Anthrax is found in post at the US consulate in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg
  • Pentagon officials deny reports that a US helicopter crashed in Pakistan after being fired on by the Taleban
  • Opposition Northern Alliance forces say they have captured three villages near Mazar-e-Sharif, but the Taleban say they fought them off
  • The UN says the Taleban is hindering humanitarian efforts inside Afghanistan
  • The US transport secretary says there was a security failure of dramatic dimensions at Chicago's O'Hare airport
  • An FBI investigation determines that the threat of possible terrorist attacks on bridges in California and other western states was not considered credible
  • India's prime minister visits Russia to ensure a key role in any Afghan administration after the Taleban

Earlier in the day Mr Bush spoke by videolink to 17 eastern and central European leaders meeting in Warsaw, where he said the al-Qaeda network was trying to export " terror throughout the world".

"Al-Qaeda operates in more than 60 nations including some in Central and Eastern Europe. These terrorist groups seek to destabilise entire nations and regions," Mr Bush said.

"They're seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Given the means, our enemies would be a threat to every nation and eventually, to civilisation itself."

The European leaders applauded warmly when he thanked them for supporting the US-led campaign against al-Qaeda - which Washington blames for the 11 September attacks in the United States - and the group's Taleban protectors in Afghanistan.

Poland's Prime Minister Leszek Miller with Tony Blair
Western Europe has overshadowed Eastern Europe in the war on terror
"We stand by the American nation just as they supported us in our struggle for freedom," they said in a declaration after the meeting.

They adopted an anti-terrorism plan including tighter border controls, better coordination of intelligence services and closer scrutiny of the banking sector to combat money laundering.

Many of the 17 leaders are eager to bring their former communist countries into the western military alliance Nato, analysts said.

Money-laundering fears

Eastern Europe is also featuring in the investigation into the 11 September attacks on America.

Poland has revealed that suspects in the attacks on the World Trade Center travelled across its territory, and the Czech Republic has said that Mohammed Atta, suspected of piloting one of the hijacked planes, met an Iraqi agent in Prague.

There are also fears about the region being used for money-laundering, and as a route for drug-smuggling.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"The Americans are determined their message of justice will prevail"
US President, George W. Bush
"We must lift this dark threat"
See also:

26 Oct 01 | South Asia
Analysis: Bin Laden's 'nuclear threat'
06 Nov 01 | Americas
Weapons shock for US airport
05 Nov 01 | UK Politics
European allies reaffirm war support
06 Nov 01 | South Asia
UN hits back over Afghan aid
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