Europe Lines Up To Help

Actor Martin Sheen poses at the after party for the Ante Up for Africa celebrity poker tournament during the World Series of Poker at the Voodoo Lounge at the Rio Hotel & Casino Thursday, July 5, 2007, in Las Vegas.
European Union leaders have declared their support for "targeted" U.S. retaliation against countries harboring terrorists, and offered their help to America.

Under enormously tight security the heads of the European Union states completed in hours a process that usually takes months, even years, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.

"We reaffirmed our full solidarity not only from the heart but also from our sense of reason," French President Jacques Chirac said. "To be clear, we will not sit on the sidelines of this battle against this scourge."

In a joint statement read by the host, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the EU leaders urged President Bush to build "the broadest possible global coalition against terrorism."

They also stressed their rejection of "any equation of, on the one hand, fanatical terrorist groups, and the Arab and Muslim world in general."

Each of the 15 EU countries is prepared to aid the U.S. response "according to its means," they said.

Among the ideas ratified:

  • a single arrest warrant for all EU states. A suspect wanted in one could be pursued in all 15;
  • a streamlined extradition process; and
  • closing financial loopholes to choke off terrorists money supply.
But the Europeans still expressed some reservations about military action.

"We want these actions to be targeted," the declaration said, adding that targets can include "states abetting, supporting or harboring terrorists."

"We express our total solidarity with the American people in the face of terrorist attacks," the leaders said.

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