Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Tuesday, 26 July 2005 14:52 UK

Key extracts: Blair news conference

Tony Blair was questioned by reporters on Tuesday about the London bombings, Iraq and other issues. Here are key extracts from the news conference.

ON WHETHER THE IRAQ WAR MOTIVATED TERRORISM

"They will use Iraq to try to recruit and motivate people, they will use Afghanistan.

"Before Iraq and Afghanistan and September the eleventh, which happened before those things, they used other things.

"But I think most people understand that the roots of this go far deeper, and in any event, where does this argument take us in the end?

"And I want to make one thing very clear to you. Whatever excuse or justification these people use, I do not believe we should give one inch to them."

ON SUICIDE BOMBERS

"Until we get rid of this... frankly complete nonsense in trying to build some equivalence between what we're doing helping Iraqis and Afghans get their democracy and these people going and deliberately killing wholly innocent people for the sake of it... we're not going to confront this ideology in the way that it needs to be confronted.

"My point to you is this - it's time we stopped saying 'OK, we abhor their methods but we kinda see something in their ideas or maybe they've got a sliver of excuse or justification'. They've got no justification for it...

"Neither have they any justification for killing people in Israel either. Let's just get that out of the way as well.

"There is no justification for suicide bombing whether in Palestine, Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere. In the United States of America, there is no justification for it. Period."

ON THE WORLD'S ATTITUDE TO TERRORISM

"September the eleventh for me was a wake-up call. Do you know what I think the problem is? That a lot of the world woke up for a short time and then turned over and went back to sleep again.

"And we are not going to deal with this problem, with the roots as deep as they are, until we confront these people at every single level. And not just their methods - but their ideas."

ON POLITICIANS' SUMMER HOLIDAYS

"We can recall Parliament at any point in time that's necessary to do it, but, as I think the other party leaders were saying this morning, there's only point in doing it if there is a point to it.

"As for all of us who'll be taking holidays over the next period of time ... we can all return very, very easily and I've made it absolutely clear and I've put arrangements in place.

"Not merely do I, for example, have secure communications with me wherever I am, but I will return immediately if there's a need to do so."

ON TALKS ABOUT NEW ANTI-TERROR MEASURES

"It was a productive meeting. I'm very pleased that the cross-party consensus on the way forward is continuing.

"I think when the main political parties present a united front, then it sends an important signal to the terrorists of our strength and our determination and our unity to defeat them."

The main plans discussed were for new offences outlawing the preparation, incitement or training for terrorism but Mr Blair said other options had been proposed by the police and security services.

They included: "increased pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects, the use of intercepts as evidence, whether to create the specific offence of attending a terrorist training camp, the powers that are necessary to deal with some of these extreme bookshops and the publications that can incite terrorism, the use of the internet to promote and encourage terrorist activity."

PRAISE FOR LONDONERS

"Obviously these are difficult times and London is being tested, but standing firm.

"The calm resolve of Londoners is remarked upon time and time again and rightly.

"And I would like to place again on record my thanks to the police and emergency services, the security services and those working on London's Tubes and buses for all the work they're doing in uniquely challenging circumstances."

ON POLICE SHOOT TO KILL POLICY ON SUICIDE BOMB SUSPECTS

"If you are dealing with someone who you think might be a suicide bomber, then obviously the important thing is that they are not able to set off the bomb.

"And it's as simple as that and I think it's more of a common sense response to the situation, rather than any great change of policy and I, offhand I can't remember whether I've ever had a discussion about it."



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