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Brussels, 9 September 2011

Statement by President Barroso and President Van Rompuy: "The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States"

A decade has passed since the shock of the heinous attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington DC when more than 3000 persons, from all corners of the world, lost their lives. Today, Europe honours the victims and expresses its solidarity with those who lost their loved ones in these and all other terrorist attacks.

The world reacted rapidly and in a sustained manner against the scourge of terrorism and yet the errant ideologies behind these attacks are still a threat. That's why Europe stands shoulder to shoulder with our friends and allies in the global fight against terrorist networks and their economic backbone. The consensus achieved in the UN General Assembly behind the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy shows that the world is united on this without distinction of religion or any other factor. Remaining vigilant, Europe continues to make progress in enhancing law enforcement cooperation, protecting our transport systems and critical infrastructure, and in providing support to our citizens.

Together with the United States and our partners, we are furthermore working to overcome the conditions which can be conducive to the spread of terrorism and the false ideas that stand behind it. We must for example continue to counter radicalization and the recruitment of new terrorists. Ultimately we can only succeed in this endeavour if we stay true to our core values, within Europe and on the world stage. Promoting the rule of law, human rights and democratic governance, open intercultural dialogue and providing economic and educational opportunities is the best guarantee to enhance the security of our citizens and that of our international partners.

Ten years on, the people in the streets of Tunis, Cairo, Benghazi and across the Arab world have sent a strong signal for freedom and democracy. This is the strongest answer to the fatuous hate and blind fanaticism of the 9/11 crimes.

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