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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK
Bush appeals for help from allies
President Megawati and President Bush
Megawati is expected to urge restraint
US President George W Bush says he accepts that some countries will play a more active role than others in the broad coalition he is building aimed at defeating world terrorism.

Some nations will be comfortable supporting covert activities, some nations will only be comfortable with providing information

George Bush
But he appealed to allies to help the US however possible, be it through overt or covert methods.

Mr Bush was speaking in the White House accompanied by Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri - leader of the world's biggest Muslim population.

Earlier Mr Bush received a boost from Germany when parliament there voted overwhelmingly to provide military support for the US and to spend DM3bn ($1.42bn) next year on anti-terrorism security measures.

Covert activities

President Bush told journalists at the White House that there were various ways other nations could support the US in the wake of last week's attacks on New York and Washington.
Bush's diplomacy schedule includes:
Wednesday: Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer
Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri
Thursday: British Prime Minister Tony Blair

"Some nations will be comfortable supporting covert activities, some nations will only be comfortable with providing information. Others will be helpful and will only be comfortable supporting financial matters. I understand that," Mr Bush said.

And he pledged to the Indonesian president that his campaign was "not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs".

In turn, Megawati pointed out that she had condemned the suicide hijack passenger attacks as "inhumane" as soon as she heard of them.

However, correspondents say she was expected to warn Mr Bush against any hasty reaction.

Mr Bush's talks with President Megawati came as European leaders lined up to pledge support to Washington.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has pledged his support

The European Commission has put forward a package of anti-terrorism measures, including a European arrest warrant which it hopes will be taken up by member states.

The foreign ministers of Russia, Germany and Saudi Arabia are among those in Washington for talks on Wednesday.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said a broad international coalition was coming together. He is travelling to France and Germany before meeting Mr Bush on Thursday.

Cracks appear

But reservations have been expressed by several countries.

Russia has made it clear to Washington that it will not take part in any military action. It has called for careful action based on proof.

UN Security Council
China is demanding UN approval for military action
The head of the Russian Security Council, Vladimir Rushailo, has sad that any action should be within international law and should avoid civilian casualties.

French President Jacques Chirac, who met Mr Bush on Tuesday, declined to endorse his description of the planned US retaliation as a war.

This sentiment was echoed by Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel who, while praising US restraint so far, said he did not regard the fight against those behind the attacks as a war.

United Nations

The United Nations Security Council has renewed its call for the ruling Taleban in Afghanistan to hand over the main suspect in the attacks, Saudi-born dissident Osama Bin Laden, "immediately and unconditionally" in accordance with a UN resolution passed in December last year.

But US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that, while Bin Laden's capture would be welcome, it would not deal with those who sheltered terrorists or the organisation which he belonged to.

And China has for the first time given an indication of the circumstances under which it would accept a US military strike.

Before Beijing wants to see what it calls concrete evidence against the extremist organisations being targeted and it says any attacks should have a clear objective and should not hurt innocent people.

China also says it can only support military action approved by the UN.

The BBC's Gavin Hewitt
"People are accepting that the best they can hope for is a body"
The BBC's Richard Lister in Washington
"The Bush administration is trying to prepare the country for a long campaign"
The BBC's Jon Sopel
"This investigation is getting wider and wider"
See also:

19 Sep 01 | Americas
Coalition in quotes
19 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair begins anti-terror talks
19 Sep 01 | Europe
EU acts on terrorism
18 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Megawati flies to meet Bush
18 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
China demands US attack evidence
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