Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Kirkhope on the IRA at the EP

Timothy Kirkhope,the British Conservative leader at the European Parliament gave a speech yesterday about the IRA during a debate on the fight against terrorism. He said– "The IRA is different from ETA, which is different from al-Qa’ida, but they are all evil and must be faced down and eliminated." More here

"Mr President, terrorism threatens all of us. The United Kingdom has had to deal with the Irish Republican terrorism of Sinn Féin/IRA for over three decades and as they say themselves, they have not gone away, you know. We need to be steadfast in the face of terrorism. Weakness and equivocation merely strengthen those who seek to undermine democracy. We also need clarity, however, on understanding the threat we face and the best measures to deal with that threat. For this reason we welcome the proposals to improve information-sharing between relevant authorities, which are foreseen under Mr Duquesne’s report. As we have seen, Member States cooperating on a bilateral basis, without being hamstrung by needlessly heavy institutional constraints, have produced results. Joint investigation teams, on which I had the honour of being rapporteur in the previous Parliament, have been working well in this area, as referred to in the Díez González report. Such flexible, targeted, measured and appropriate responses are good examples of what can be achieved. But we also need to be aware of the nature of the threat that we are dealing with. The IRA is different from ETA, which is different from al-Qa’ida, but they are all evil and must be faced down and eliminated. Being unclear helps no one and I simply do not understand why some in this House do not want the use of the term "fundamental Islamist organisations" to describe al-Qa’ida and their ilk. Similarly, we also welcome the call, in the Borghezio report, to look at the question of those charities which are little more than front organisations for fund-raising for terrorism. It is deplorable that the Council has not seen fit to designate Hizbollah as a terrorist organisation. But above all else, we need to work together, exchanging information, assisting each other to deal with these ongoing threats, the undoubted threats to our freedom and to our democracy."
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