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Ryszard Kalisz on the fight against terrorism: "It is essential that countries work hand in hand''

At the meeting of European Interior Ministers on the fight against terrorism and organised crime held in Warsaw on 17 and 18 March, Polish Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Ryszard Kalisz stressed the need for international co-operation in the fight against terrorism. "If we are to wage an effective struggle, it is vital to draw up legal instruments which can be used in the same way for all countries, allowing technical and operational activities to function properly", the Minister said in an interview.

Warsaw, 16 March 2005

Question : Why is it important to combat terrorism at European level?

Ryszard Kalisz : International terrorism is based on political motivation and that is something that knows no boundaries. It is very important that countries work together to combat terrorism. The perpetrators of terrorist acts very often prepare them and carry out the training in another country to help them to keep their acts confidential. Cooperation in combating terrorism is therefore essential, and something which serves the whole international community.

Question : What do you hope this conference will achieve?

Ryszard Kalisz : The conference is a platform to discuss mechanisms to combat terrorism. If we are going to fight successfully, it is very important to define legal texts that can be used equally by all the different countries, allowing technical and operational work to run smoothly. The conference is also a place to bring together the people who are deeply involved in fighting terrorism and organised crime, giving us a chance to discuss some of the work done by the Council of Europe which we greatly appreciate – for instance, action against money laundering, human trafficking and corruption.

Question : Why is Poland backing this initiative?

Ryszard Kalisz : Poland is an active member of the international community. It is an active member of the Council of Europe, and from November 2004 to May 2005 we hold the chair of the Committee of Ministers. We are fully behind any initiative to stop terrorism and crime.

Warsaw will host the Council of Europe’s third summit in May 2005.

Question : What are your expectations for the event?

Ryszard Kalisz : We are very proud to host the third summit of Heads of state and government. It will be a fitting end to our six month presidency and shows Poland has a place at the heart of Europe. The Polish people are happy to have this kind of event in Warsaw and I am convinced that Polish efforts will be greatly appreciated by all our fellow members of the Council.