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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Blair's statement in full
This is the full text of Tony Blair's statement from Wednesday's news conference:

"First of all, I would like to give you an update on this morning's meeting of the civil contingencies committee.

"We have agreed to keep in place the additional security measures that I announced yesterday, at least for the rest of the day.

"This is a purely precautionary measure, but wise in the circumstances, and I hope those who are suffering the disruption understand why we believe this to be necessary.

"Most of the City and business throughout the country is functioning as normal.

"We also discussed what practical help and expertise we can offer to America in dealing with the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

"I will chair a further meeting of this committee later today and, in addition, there will be a special meeting of the Cabinet tomorrow.

"Also, I should tell you that the government has requested that parliament be recalled and the Speaker has agreed to this.

"I have consulted the leader of the opposition and the Liberal Democrats and other parties and propose that parliament be recalled for this Friday, 14 September, when I will make a statement to the House, and the Foreign Secretary will then open a full debate on the issues that arise from yesterday's atrocity.

"I believe parliament should be recalled both because of the sheer magnitude of the event, and its implications, but also because this was an attack not just on a number of buildings, but on the very notion of democracy.

"It is therefore all the more important that democratic voices are heard and, in our country, parliament is the place for that to happen.

"I have also spoken to several world leaders, including the presidents of France and Russia, Chancellor Schroeder [of Germany] and [Belgian] prime minister Verhofstadt in his capacity as the current president of the EU.

"We all agreed that this attack is an attack not only on America but on the world, which demands our complete and united condemnation, our determination to bring those responsible to justice and our support for the American people at this time of trial.

"It is also clear that, given the likely death toll, there will be many citizens of other states who will have died.

"I have to say that I fear significant numbers of them will be British. So, in a very real and direct sense, the interest of our country are engaged.

"But even if that was not so, the world now knows the full evil and capability of international terrorism which menaces the whole of the democratic world.

"The terrorists responsible have no sense of humanity, of mercy or of justice.

"To commit acts of this nature, requires a fanaticism and wickedness that is beyond our normal contemplation.

"The USA will be considering the action it considers appropriate against those found to be responsible.

"But beyond, there are issues connected with such terrorism that the international community as a whole must consider: Where these groups are, how they operate, how they are financed, how they are supported, and how they are stopped.

"One final point: I was pleased to see the very strong statement of condemnation from the British Muslim Council, echoing that of the American Muslim Council.

"As Muslim leaders and clerics around the world are making clear such acts of infamy and cruelty are wholly contrary to the Islamic faith.

"The vast majority of Muslims are decent, upright people who share our horror at what has happened.

"People of all faiths and all democratic political persuasion have a common cause: to identify this machinery of terror and to dismantle it as swiftly as possible.

"With our American friends and other allies around the world this is the task to which we now turn."

See also:

11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair speaks of 'shock and outrage'
12 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair condemns attack on democracy
11 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair's statement in full
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