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Statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, Mr Janez Janša, on the occasion of the European memorial day to commemorate the victims of terrorism

Today we commemorate the fourth anniversary of the senseless and brutal terrorist attack in Madrid, which deserves the highest condemnation. On this day, Europe remembers with great sadness all the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks. We also express our profound solidarity with those who suffered injuries or lost close family members in attacks.

We are well aware that expressions of sympathy can never compensate for the grief of those who have lost loved ones. However, the European Day of the Victims of Terrorism constitutes a clear commitment to combating the terrorist threat with the utmost resolve. In recent years, progress has indeed been made in preventing acts of terrorism. All stakeholders have joined forces in these efforts: states, major international organisations, various forms of regional alliances and organised civil society.

Progress has also been made in endeavours to gain better knowledge of the motives of those perpetrating terrorist attacks. Slovenia has placed intercultural dialogue based on mutual respect and tolerance among the top priorities of its EU Council Presidency. This signifies a rejection of the culture of violence that certain perverted ideologies try to impose. In no way can cultural, religious and other differences accompanying the process of globalisation constitute an excuse for terrorist violence.

Modern Europe is based on a free and open society, human rights and the principles of democracy and the rule of law. These values must not be allowed to be undermined by acts of terrorism. Nor must they be overlooked in our well-intentioned endeavours to be successful in combating terrorism.


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Date: 14.03.2008