Written Answers. - International Terrorism.

Simon Coveney

Question:

47 Mr. Coveney asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the discussions he has had with the US Government in relation to co-operation following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. [15023/02]

Richard Bruton

Question:

73 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the discussions which have taken place at the EU General Affairs Council, bilaterally with other Foreign Ministers and the United States in relation to combatting terrorism. [15014/02]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 73 together.

Since the events of 11 September 2001, the United Nations has been central to the efforts deployed against international terrorism. Following the adoption of Resolution 1368 on 12 September, reaffirming the right to self-defence and calling on all States to prevent and suppress international terrorism and to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks, the Security Council adopted the more detailed Resolution 1373 on 28 September, requiring all member states to take legislative and financial measures to combat terrorism, and establishing the Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor the implementation of the resolution. The CTC requested all member states to submit a first report by 27 December 2001. To date, 157 reports, including the Irish report, on national implementation of the resolution have been received for evaluation by the CTC, of which Ireland is a member. Member states have been asked to follow up with supplementary reports on particular questions raised by the committee and, in this context, Ireland submitted a second report to the CTC on 14 June. Where required, assistance will be provided to those member states who need to upgrade their capacity for legislative, executive, or judicial action against terrorism.

On foot of the Security Council Resolutions, the EU for its part drew up an action plan, approved by the European Council on 21 September, under the following headings:

–Enhancing police and judicial co-operation

–Developing international legal instruments

–Putting an end to the funding of terrorism

–Strengthening air security.

A wide range of specific measures both internal and external are being implemented by the relevant EU Councils, including General Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs, ECOFIN and Transport. Progress is monitored by the General Affairs Council, which has overall co-ordinating responsibility for implementation of the plan.

In the context of fufilling our obligations against terrorism under the prevailing Security Council Resolutions, and as a member of the Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Irish Government is in regular discussion with our EU partners and more widely with other members of the international community, including of course the United States. I held a bilateral meeting with Secretary of State Powell in Washington on 26 September 2001 and we also met on 11 November during the United Nations General Assembly. The Taoiseach has held two meetings with President Bush, on 8 November 2001 and on 13 March 2002. These meetings, as with other meetings with foreign Governments since 11 September, naturally featured international terrorism as an important item on the agenda.