Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-03-Speech-3-138"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Cohn-Bendit has, I am glad to say, made a number of valid statements, and one of them is that – whether the US policy is right or wrong, and our US friends often make serious mistakes – the point is that we Europeans have no policy at all. This is the basic situation which, I fear, despite the Convention which you all applauded this morning, will not, alas, change in the coming years: we Europeans have not established a policy, neither in the past nor, I regret to say, now. I believe that the reconstruction effort and our financial generosity are more than appreciable, but that is not enough to constitute a policy. I cannot see what we are proposing other than recourse to the United Nations, but the United Nations is no greater than its component member states. For the moment, the Arab countries – many of which stand to benefit if things deteriorate for, indeed, it would mean going home for many of them if Iraq were to start functioning properly – are keeping a close eye on things and many countries of the European establishment are also standing by, maybe waiting for the Americans to fail. It disturbs me when I hear terrorist attacks described as legitimate resistance. I am concerned by these ambiguities at which, quite frankly, I am amazed, to say the least, even just hearing the terms used. Tell the Iraqis who have died that this is legitimate resistance. It may well be that we too continue to be undecided, even at a time when success in Iraq is in everyone’s interests, first and foremost the interests of the Iraqi people, who have suffered 20 years of martyrdom at the hands of Saddam Hussein. They, like all of us, have the right to a different kind of life and a different kind of development. Our cowardly actions will not help them; our cowardly actions will certainly not take us even half a step forwards along the road to democracy. I wish you luck, Commissioner. Reconstruction is necessary, but Europe has yet to conceive a policy for the region."@en1

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