Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-04-Speech-4-241"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it goes without saying that the European Union must not pass over in silence the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Not only did these bombings, which hit India's financial centre, claim the lives of 52 people, they also threatened to jeopardise the peace process in the region. It is regrettable that this should happen precisely at this moment in time, jeopardising the peace negotiations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, a much-wanted region by both countries. India has been making major efforts for some time to bring this conflict to an end. After all, the Indian Government’s policies are geared to the peaceful co-existence of the different nations, as illustrated by the number of Muslims occupying high government positions. India is, moreover, the only country in southern Asia that has opted in favour of a secular and pluralist state model. A choice of this kind is a clear expression of tolerance with regard to the various population groups. It goes without saying that this raises very important issues, which must be viewed in terms of India's importance, not only in Asia but also in the world. After all, we should not overlook the fact that India is a superpower boasting great economic potential and is also one of the European Union’s important trading partners. The objective of the violence was to destabilise society and deliver a blow to the Indian economy. The international community should concern itself more with increasing Muslim fundamentalism in the world. The recent attack against the UN headquarters in Iraq is a dramatic example of this. This incident underlines once more the enormous threat that is emanating from ever increasing fundamentalism. I take the view that the European Union and its Parliament have every reason to continue to support India as a constitutional state, where Hindus and Muslims are treated equally, in a bid to ensure respect for the principles of democracy."@en1

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