BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Blair warns Taleban they must act
Tony Blair emerges to make his statement in Downing Street garden
Blair: Our enemy's friend is our enemy
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned the Taleban regime that they face military action unless Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists operating in Afghanistan are handed over.

Mr Blair, speaking in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street, stressed that it was the Taleban regime and not the Afghan people who were the target of the strengthening global coalition.


If they stand in the way of bringing Bin Laden to account, they are every bit as much our enemy as Bin Laden himself

Tony Blair
He also said that the UK and other countries including Japan, were poised ready with humanitarian aid for the Afghan people.

Downing Street has confirmed that MPs will be recalled to Westminster next week to hear a statement from Mr Blair and have a debate on the latest events.

The prime minister has maintained his tough stance against the terrorists telling the Taleban on Tuesday that they knew "exactly what they have to do... they could do it quickly and easily".

Depth of crisis

He added: "If they stand in the way of bringing Bin Laden to account, they are every bit as much our enemy as Bin Laden himself."

Mr Blair, who had spoken to the president or prime ministers of Jordan, Israel and Japan on Tuesday, said that the international coalition was continuing to grow stronger.

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden is chief suspect
He also said the depth of the crisis caused by the terror attacks on the US had led to a series of events which would have seemed "impossible" a few months ago.

These included the Iranian message of sympathy for the US people, UK foreign secretary Jack Straw's visit to the same country, Russia's willingness to assist the US and the fact that new life appeared to have been breathed into the Middle East peace process.

Vigilant not alarmist

Mr Blair took the opportunity to play down fears that terrorists might be planning a nuclear, biological or chemical weapons attack on the UK.

He said there was "no evidence" of a specific threat to the UK.

The head of the World Health Organisation also warned governments to prepare for possible biological or chemical weapons attacks.

Mr Blair said the UK had to remain vigilant and the issue had to be covered by the media in a responsible rather than alarmist way.

Earlier, Health Secretary Alan Milburn said he had asked the NHS to review its emergency contingency plans in light of the US terror attacks.

Mr Milburn said he and NHS Chief Executive Nigel Crisp wanted to ensure the planning arrangements were "flexible and can cope with different eventualities".

Tourism meeting

Bin Laden, who is thought to be in Afghanistan, has been named as the chief suspect in the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

The attacks have had an already far-reaching effect on world business including the beleaguered British tourism industry which was just beginning to recover from the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions across the UK are reporting a big cut in business.

The news has prompted crisis meetings between ministers and tourism bosses.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Marr
"This is only the start of a strange new kind of war"
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"Our fight is not with Islam, our fight is with the terrorist network"

Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

25 Sep 01 | UK
25 Sep 01 | UK Politics
25 Sep 01 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes