Democracy best answer to terror, says NATO Secretary General

Posted in NATO | 14-Mar-05 | Source: NATO

Speaking at an anti-terror Summit in Madrid on 10 March, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that protecting and promoting democracy “remains the best answer to terror”.

The Secretary General visited the Spanish capital to address the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security, 8 to 10 March. The Summit marked the first anniversary of the bomb attacks in Madrid on 11 March 2004 that killed 191 people.

Standing up to terrorism

Protecting and promoting basic values is the best answer to terrorism, the Secretary said at the conference, but if the fight against terrorism made it necessary to apply military power, the Alliance stood ready to so.

The most effective way is to have a combination of all the things in our inventory, and that goes from nation-building to intelligence to diplomacy, political talks, and if necessary, military power,” he told reporters.

Let’s not forget these terrorists are not attacking us because they don’t like our policies,” he said, “They are attacking us for what we are: liberal, open, free, democratic societies. That’s why they are attacking us”.

He said that NATO was standing up to terrorism by adapting its forces and capabilities but also by building deeper relations with partners, including in the Mediterranean and Middle East, to promote stability, foster understanding and assist reform.

In commemoration of the victims of the 11 March bombing, flags at NATO Headquarters flew at half-mast and staff observed a minute of silence.

During his stay in Madrid, the Secretary General participated in the Summit’s official lunch and plenary meeting, chaired by His Majesty King Juan Carlos. He also met with Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.

NATO assisted in providing security for the Summit by deploying special AWACS radar aircraft to help patrol the skies over the city during the conference and the commemoration of the attacks.