Egypt warns U.S. against taking hasty revenge
CAIRO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Egypt's foreign minister warned the United States
on Thursday against any hasty unilateral revenge outside the remit of
international law for Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington.
"They should not, I think, react in anger," Ahmed Maher said in a televised
interview with the English-language Nile TV station.
"They should not react hastily. They should know that the world has expressed
solidarity with them, they stand with them, but they should not jump to
conclusions before the investigation is completed."
He offered condolences to and solidarity with Americans following the terror
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, which caused catastrophic
loss of life, but advised them to respond with caution.
"We hope that these actions, which are reprehensible, will not have an impact
on the way the American public and the American administration look at
people, and at their friends, and at the world," Maher said.
Knife-wielding hijackers seized four commercial airliners on Tuesday, two of
which destroyed New York's World Trade Center towers. A third hit the
Pentagon and a fourth plane crashed in western Pennsylvania.
"There are ways and means, after the investigation is completed, after it has
been ascertained who is responsible for this thing, to take measures
internationally, collectively, in order to put an end to such actions," Maher
"The charter of the United Nations has provisions to this effect. The
Security Council can play an important role," he said, adding he hoped nobody
would take hasty unilateral action.
Maher also drew a parallel between the aeroplane attacks in the United States
and Israeli air attacks against the Palestinians.
"We are very much alarmed by the fact that aeroplanes are used against
civilians. This is not the first time. We have seen it in our part of the
world, how F-16s have been used by the Israelis against the Palestinian
civilian population. This is also very reprehensible," he said.
This month, U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said the U.S.
government had approved a $2 billion deal to supply Israel with 52 Lockheed
F-16 fighter jets. Israel has used F-16 jets in heavily populated Palestinian
areas in recent months to try to quell an uprising now in its twelfth month.
Copyright 2001 Reuters Limited.