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Chirac: UN Most Effective Place to Coordinate Anti-Terrorism Campaign

France's President Jacques Chirac says the United Nations is the most effective place to coordinate an international drive against terrorism.

After meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr. Chirac did not say that any military action against terrorism must be formally approved by the United Nations. However, speaking through an English interpreter, he did say the world organization is the best place to coordinate the long term fight.

"We must recognize that the United Nations is the best body possible for bringing together all the energy and coordinate it and to put policies into effect. The United Nations has already done a great deal," Mr. Chirac said. "There are about a dozen international conventions against terrorism that have been implemented by the United Nations. That is still not enough but we understand today that it is this forum [the U.N.] that we can best mobilize our energy for eradicating, in conformity with our values, terrorism."

Mr. Chirac said it is very important not to confuse terrorist groups with the Arab or Muslim world. To do so he said, would be a capital mistake and would fall into the trap that terrorists have set.

Earlier in the day, the French President toured the disaster area in New York, by helicopter. He said the scene is unbelievably tragic. He said that he felt like crying when he thought of all the people who died and those whose bodies may never be found and will never even have a funeral.