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EU calls emergency meetings on terrorism
Updated: 2004-03-16 11:06

The European Union will hold high-level security talks on Friday to assess what additional anti-terrorism measures to take in the wake of the bombings in Madrid, the Irish prime minister announced Monday.

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said proposals would include a "solidarity clause" committing nations to help each other in response to terror attacks, the appointment of a special EU official to coordinate counterterrorism operations in Europe, improved intelligence sharing and closer cooperation with non-EU nations to combat terrorism at a global level.

"The callous and cowardly attacks on 11 March served as a terrible reminder of the threat posed by terrorism to our society," Ahern said in a statement.

"We condemn utterly those who planted the bombs that wrought such destruction and cost so many lives last Thursday.

"The attacks in Madrid were an attack against the very values on which the Union is founded."

Ireland currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

EU justice and interior ministers will discuss the proposals Friday.

The EU foreign ministers will continue the debate the following Monday, before the packages goes to an EU summit, scheduled for March 25-26. All the meetings will be at EU headquarters in Brussels.

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