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European Leaders Confer on Terrorism War - 2001-11-04


European leaders are meeting in London to discuss the international war on terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is hosting the meeting attended by many European leaders, including those from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, the holder of the European Union's rotating presidency.

The meeting follows Mr. Blair's recent trip to the Middle East where he attempted to bolster the anti-terrorism coalition among Arab countries and re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The high-level meeting also comes amid growing criticism in Europe over the U-S bombing campaign in Afghanistan. Much of that criticism has been voiced by European newspapers.

French President Jacques Chirac is due in Washington Tuesday for talks with President Bush, followed by Mr. Blair on Wednesday.

Speaking Sunday, European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy warned against a split between rich and poor, saying terrorists want to create uncertainty, fear and conflict. Mr. Lamy says institutions such as the World Trade Organization which meets later this week in Qatar must work to create certainty, confidence and peace.

Separately, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in Russia Sunday for talks on fighting terrorism and on Afghanistan's future.

The Indian leader will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and then fly to Washington to meet with President Bush.

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