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Global Terrorism - Global Struggle

Remarks by Ambassador Daniel R. Coats at the
Conference “Global Terrorism - Global Struggle”
Berlin, Rathaus Schöbenerg, September 11, 2003


As prepared for delivery.

President Freiberg,
Colonel Gertz,
Innenminister Schily,
Verteidigungsministerminister Struck,

I would like to thank the Gewerkschaft der Polizei and the Deutscher Bundeswehrverband for the invitation and for your initiative in arranging this conference.

In the past two years, since that tragic day in September 2001, the law enforcement communities in the United States and Germany have worked together to detect and thwart the menace of international terrorism. Every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial mechanism has been employed. Cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts has been an important element in this effort. German and U.S. investigators have worked together to unravel al-Qaeda's Hamburg cell and other terrorist operations. Germany has shut down extremist organizations that provide ideological and material support for terrorists. German law enforcement has shown that terrorism and terrorists can expect no rest or shelter in the Federal Republic.
Minister Schily, I thank you, and my government thanks you for your leadership and support of these initiatives.

The Bundeswehr has played a crucial role in helping to bring stability to Afghanistan, once the training ground of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. In ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Bundeswehr has suffered casualties and paid a price, but a price that enhances our security in both Europe and the United States. The Bundeswehr has also taken on other commitments in the Balkans and the Horn of Africa -- representing the largest deployment of Bundeswehr soldiers outside Germany's borders since WWII.

Minister Struck, I likewise thank you for your leadership and support.
German police are also on the front lines in Afghanistan, training an Afghan police and border police force -- a very important task with its own dangers. It is important now to reinforce our efforts to expand security outside of Kabul. Germany is a key partner in this effort.

Here in Germany, in accordance with international law, both the German police and the Bundeswehr have stretched their capabilities to protect U.S. military and diplomatic installations in Germany. Always professional, always reliable, German soldiers, border troops and police have kept us safe and continue to do so as we wage this war against terror.

Again, I thank Minister Schily and Minister Struck for their and their ministries’ cooperation and support.

President Freiberg, President Gertz, today I would like to express the gratitude of my country to the men and women of the German police and the armed forces for their hard work, commitment and dedication. And I would like to express my own personal gratitude to the German police for their cooperation and help in providing security for the Embassy and its staff, especially since the events of September 11th. Every time I enter and leave the Embassy, my thoughts are with the police officers who stand guard around the clock. On behalf of the employees of our Embassy, American and German, I thank you.
The world has made real progress in combating terrorism, but the past two years have also shown that the world continues to be an unsafe place and security challenges cannot be underestimated.

September 11 changed the way Americans -- and American leaders -- look at the world. September 11 was a day of decision. On that tragic day we learned that terrorists were prepared to go to any lengths to attack their enemies and many innocent victims. And since then, we have seen innocent victims die in Bali, in Mombasa, in Riyadh, in Djerba, in Jakarta, in Casablanca, and in Baghdad. Last month terrorists bombed the United Nations facilities killing U.N. personnel and Iraqi citizens -- men and women working on humanitarian and reconstruction projects. And then a few days later a bomb went off at one of Iraq's holiest sites killing Ayatollah Hakim who had been jailed and tortured for his religious beliefs by the Saddam regime. That bomb was aimed at the hopes of the people of Iraq for freedom, peace, and reconciliation.

In the last two years, we have experienced days of suffering and sorrow – brought about by a war on freedom that seeks to break the spirit and resolve of free people everywhere.

Forty years ago, President Kennedy declared his and our country's allegiance to the people of Berlin here at Schoeneberg Rathaus. His words are an integral part of the history of the 20th century. The President said, "Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free." Today Berlin is the capital of a unified and free Germany. President Kennedy's words continue to inspire us -- never to give up the fight against those who would withhold freedom. Now as then, America's voice will never waver in speaking out on the side of people seeking freedom.

The Bush Administration's National Security Strategy is a 21st century reaffirmation of that same commitment to freedom. The National Security Strategy is a broad agenda – broader than the United States is sometimes given credit for. It is a reaffirmation of the importance of partnerships, of alliances, of human rights, of open trade – the prerequisites for a better world for all people. But it is also a reaffirmation of the necessity of defending and protecting the values that are essential to human dignity in the face of the challenges that confront us today.

The United States and Germany have long stood together to promote freedom and democracy. As we face the new challenges of this 21st century, may we continue to partner together in the cause of freedom.

Vielen Dank, meine Freunde, vielen Dank.

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