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SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much Mr. Minister, dear Louis, and colleagues at the head table and ministers around the table, thank you so very much for receiving me this afternoon and for giving me the unique opportunity to address this distinguished Council. I come here today to recognize your important work and to underscore the urgency of effective cooperation between the United States and the European Union against the scourge of terrorism.
September 11th changed our world. In the aftermath of these terrible acts of terrorism, we have emerged stronger and more unified in defense of our security, our values, and our way of life. Only a few months ago, cynics argued that the United States and Europe were drifting apart, caught up in squabbles over trade issues, bananas and the like. But now we know better. The European Union's swift and resolute support for the United States reflects the powerful and enduring bonds between our societies and the bedrock values that we share. You are our staunchest foul weather friend and we know it.
Cooperation in justice and law enforcement is essential to our common struggle against terrorism. Due in great part to the work of this Council, our judicial and police authorities have new tools to combat terrorism and to shut off terrorist financing. We are working with the provisional EUROJUST to enable our prosecutors to exchange information on terrorism. The U.S.-EUROPOL Agreement we sign today undergirds the new framework for law enforcement cooperation.
There is still much more to do. This Council is considering ways to facilitate the sharing of law enforcement information between the United States and European authorities. This is a complex issue, in part because of the differences in our legal systems, but it is hard to see how we can work together in criminal investigations without sharing data. I know we can resolve this issue and I hope we can resolve it quickly.
The European Union joined us in freezing the assets linked to the attacks. Now we need to take additional steps to halt the flow of terrorist financing. We must be able to move quickly and sometimes even on the basis of sensitive intelligence. It is essential to have the capacity to freeze assets expeditiously on an EU-wide basis. I am heartened by the progress the EU has made on a framework regulation that will meet this need and I urge its final passage.
Terrorism is an attack on our civilization and a great threat to our security. We must prepare ourselves for a prolonged struggle against those who would destroy our way of life. This is the work we have done together. This is the work you are doing here. And working together, we will prevail. So, on behalf of President Bush, on behalf of the American people, on behalf of all of us who love democracy and freedom, and the way of life that has brought us such security and such prosperity, I thank you for your support in this campaign against terrorism. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Louis.
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