Swiss pledge to continue fight against terrorism

The government warned that Switzerland was not immune from acts of terrorism Keystone Archive

The Swiss government has reiterated its commitment to combating terrorism and its causes.

This content was published on September 11, 2002 - 19:14

In a statement to mark the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the cabinet said Switzerland supported all efforts to improve security.

However, it said this had to go hand-in-hand with measures to tackle discrimination and promote peace and solidarity.

The Swiss government again expressed its "sincere condolences" to the relatives of those who lost their lives a year ago.

Justice Minister Ruth Metzler warned that Switzerland itself was not immune from terrorist acts. She said the whole population, including Swiss abroad, remained potential targets.

"The black day of September 11 showed us that safety can never be 100 per cent guaranteed," said Metzler.

"Terrorism knows no boundaries and can only be fought on an international level."

War against terror

Metzler highlighted the steps taken by the Swiss authorities to fight terrorism, in particular the financing of terrorism.

She noted that a series of measures were being introduced in order to reinforce existing legislation and block any loopholes in the law.

However, she maintained that Switzerland would continue to respect human rights and civil liberties.

She added that she was hoping for a speedy ratification of two new UN conventions designed to crack down on the financing of terrorism.

Switzerland remembers

Late on Wednesday, Swiss President Kaspar Villiger and other heads of state attended a ceremony in New York's Battery Park, a stone's throw from "Ground Zero".

Two Swiss - a man and a woman - died in the terrorist attack on New York. Villiger met the families of both victims at the Swiss consulate earlier in the day.

"Violence against innocent people is unacceptable ... Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed," Villiger told reporters.

Meanwhile in Switzerland, a series of low-key remembrance services took place in churches across the country.

Interior Minister Ruth Dreifuss attended an official ceremony at St Peter's Cathedral in Geneva, and two minutes' silence was observed at the Swiss stock exchange in Zurich.

swissinfo with agencies

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