Direct threats require ‘decisive action’, says Dick Cheney
* Vice president asks democratic nations to join together to fight terrorism
* Says US, Europe should push Mideast democracy
DAVOS: Democratic nations must join together to fight terrorism and the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons, but if diplomacy fails, they must be prepared to use force, Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday.
In remarks at the World Economic Forum, Cheney defended the US-led invasion of Iraq, yet struck a conciliatory tone to ease trans-Atlantic relations strained by the war. “We must act with all urgency this danger demands,” Cheney said.
Ideologies of violence must be confronted at the source by nurturing democracy throughout the Middle East and beyond, Cheney said at the forum held in this Swiss alpine resort. Cooperation among governments and international institutions is even more important today than in the past, he said.
The vice president insisted, however, that if diplomatic efforts aren’t enough to defeat terrorism and stop the proliferation of weapons, America and other nations must be prepared to use force.
“Direct threats require decisive action,” Cheney told the more than 1,500 world political, corporate and opinion leaders who gathered here in eastern Switzerland to discuss security, economic and other global issues.
Mideast democracy: US Vice President Dick Cheney urged Europe on Saturday to join the United States in promoting democracy in Mideast and the Arab world as the key to winning the global war against terrorism.
“We must confront the ideologies of violence at the source, by promoting democracy throughout the greater Middle East and beyond,” Cheney told political and business leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort. Europe and the United States should join in encouraging the Iranian government to “honour the legitimate demands of the Iranian people”, he said.
“Our forward strategy for freedom commits us to support those who work and sacrifice for reform across the greater Middle East. We call upon our democratic friends and allies everywhere, and in Europe in particular, to join us in this effort,” Cheney said. Cheney acknowledged European efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to the NATO defence alliance.
He said NATO’s future lay outside the European heartland and urged Europe to step up its long-range military capabilities. He also urged the European Union, as it develops its own defence policy, not to shrink from military power and influence. —Reuters/AP