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Fischer: UN Can Play Important Role in Fight Against Terrorism - 2001-09-20

Speaking to reporters after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Germany's Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, said the United States must react to the terrorism. "I think we have to understand that the United States will react," he added. "My talks in Washington gave me the impression they will react in a very rational way, strongly but very rationally."

Mr. Fischer said the United Nations can play an important role in the long-term fight against terrorism by helping to coordinate the campaign on various fronts. He said the fight must include political, financial, intelligence, and police strategies.

The German foreign minister was asked what went wrong in terms of intelligence that allowed the September 11 attacks to occur. "If you would have asked me two weeks ago if this could happen in the way we experienced it, I am honest, I would have said I do not believe it," he said.

Mr. Fischer expects Germany to play an active role in the fight against terrorism in cooperation with the United Nations, the United States, and other countries.