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Negroponte: UN Understands US Position - 2001-10-09

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, says he is satisfied that the U.N. Security Council understands that the military actions against Taleban targets in Afghanistan are being taken in self-defense.

After meeting with members of the Council in a closed session, Mr. Negroponte told reporters they understand that the United States and Britain are acting under article 51 of the U.N. charter. That article authorizes nations that have been attacked to take measures in self-defense. "We and others who have been involved in this military action continue to enjoy strong understanding of the actions we have taken," said Mr. Negroponte. "I think there is a clear understanding that we are acting in our inherent right of self-defense."

Mr. Negroponte was asked about a line in an earlier U.S. letter to the Council in which it was stated that the United States, "may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states." "What was intended by that statement in our letter was simply that we reserved the right to exercise our right of self-defense in the future if we thought that was necessary and the circumstances warranted it," he said. "I do not think I will go any further than that."

Mr. Negroponte again emphasized that the current military action is aimed at terrorism and is in no way a campaign against Islam or the Arab world.

Security Council President Richard Ryan of Ireland said that, after hearing the reports from the United States and Britain, the Council remains unified in its determination to fight terrorism.