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France: Heal 'wounds' that fuel terror

July 25, 2005 at 11:10 AM

LONDON, July 25 (UPI) -- The international community must work to resolve the conflicts that provide ammunition for terrorists, French Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin said Monday.

Speaking with British Prime Minister Tony Blair after talks in London, de Villepin said terrorists based their activity around issues such as Iraq, Bpsnia and the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. The international community had to take account of such conflicts and work to "close these wounds in the international arena," he said.

"The more these crises can be restricted the more we will deny these terrorists any legitimacy," he added.

Blair acknowledged militants such as those behind the July 7 bombings and attempted July 21 attacks would "use Iraq as a reason," but warned against thinking there was any justification or excuse for their actions.

He expressed his regret for the killing Friday of a Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by officers who suspected he was a suicide bomber.

However police were doing their job in "very, very difficult circumstances," he continued. Had they not taken that action and the man had turned out to be a terrorist, they would have been criticized "the other way," he concluded.

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