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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 22:04 GMT 23:04 UK
EU weighs response to US strikes
European flags fly at half mast at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in tribute to terrorist attacks in New York and Washington
Europe mourns - but wants justice rather than revenge
By Europe Correspondent Angus Roxburgh

European Union leaders are to hold an extraordinary summit on Friday to discuss their response to the terrorist strikes on America.

Their talks are expected to concentrate on co-ordinating their views on US plans to retaliate against the attacks and also to look for a joint approach to combating terrorism within the EU.


European politicians have tended to stress that justice rather than revenge must be the aim

The European Union had rallied round America at once after last Tuesday's attacks with declarations of solidarity and promises to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Since then, as Washington's response has hardened, some voices in Europe have begun to urge caution.

European politicians have tended to stress that justice rather than revenge must be the aim, and some have warned of the danger that a disproportionate military response could provoke a backlash in the Arab world.

So Friday's emergency EU summit will have one main aim - to ensure that Europe speaks with one voice and to dispel any sense that Europe's solidarity with the US is crumbling.


There is a great sense of urgency about these meetings, a fearing that the strikes on America have created a new situation which requires innovative thinking.

The leaders will also be looking at security within the union.

They will follow up on transport ministers recommendations for improved controls at airports and look at measures to combat the terrorist threat within Europe.

That will also be the subject of an EU justice ministers meeting on Thursday.

There may be calls for the reimposition of border controls in the so-called Schengen zone, where EU citizens can presently travel without passports.

A European parliament committee has already suggested the introduction of a European search and arrest warrant. This may also be considered.

There is a great sense of urgency about these meetings, a fearing that the strikes on America have created a new situation which requires innovative thinking.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Colin Blane
reports on the European response to the US attack
Graham Watson MEP
"America must be tearing its hair out at how disorganised Europe is"
See also:

17 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe cautious over US response
17 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe tries to trace its victims
17 Sep 01 | Europe
US in security talks with Russia
16 Jul 01 | Europe
Why Russia fears US 'Star Wars'
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