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Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: Thank you for inviting the State Department to testify this morning. We deeply appreciate your continuing interest--as demonstrated through this hearing--in U.S. Government efforts to counter the threat posed by international terrorism.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to extend on behalf of the Secretary of State and the entire Department our deepest sympathies to all the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires, London, and Panama, as well as the attacks, albeit unrelated, in Madrid and Northern Ireland last Friday.
It is particularly tragic and ironic that the attacks in Buenos Aires, Panama, and London occurred just as prospects for peace in the Middle East are brighter than they have ever been this century. Let me assure you that the forces opposed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East will not meet their objective by attacks on civilians literally thousands of miles away. In this regard, we are deeply heartened by the recent massive demonstration by 150,000 Argentines that took place in Buenos Aires to repudiate the bombing and to express solidarity with the families of the victims.
Mr. Chairman, just a few days ago, you held hearings to examine again the response of the U.S. Government to the Pan Am 103 bombing; in many respects, what happened at the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) is a tragic parallel to that terrible night over Lockerbie. Just …