The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, says that, while his nation has the right to defend itself against terrorism, it is not proceeding alone.
Mr. Negroponte drew an analogy between terrorism and disease by saying that "we knew we had a cancer, but now we know it has spread." He thanked all nations that have offered both material and moral support to the United States, and thanked the U.N. Security Council for its speedy approval of an anti-terror resolution. That resolution, adopted Friday night, focuses on cutting off the financial resources available to terrorists.
The U.S. ambassador told the General Assembly that it will take a patient and sustained level of international effort to eliminate terrorism. "The United States, like all members has the right to defend itself, but we do not feel alone in our struggle, and we are not proceeding alone," he said.
Mr. Negroponte also emphasized that the battle against international terrorism is in no way a battle against Islam. "The terrorists we confront cannot deceive us by attempting to wrap themselves in Islam's glorious mantel," he said. "Islam's great leaders and scholars tell us otherwise. Our own history and experience tell us otherwise."
Mr. Negroponte reminded the General Assembly that the United States has helped defend Muslims in Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo, and that there are more than two million Muslims now living in the United States.
With more than 140 nations on the speakers' list, the U.N. General Assembly debate on terrorism is expected to last most of the week.