The Guardian February 6, 2002

Communist Parties meet:
War planned before Sept 11

A meeting of the Communist Parties of the Southern and Eastern 
Mediterranean region and from Middle Eastern countries held in Athens on 
January 26-27 discussed the dangerous situation that has resulted from the 
terrorist actions of September 11 and the escalation of the aggressive US 
policy and state-sponsored terrorism, which followed.

A statement adopted by the conference warned that the global hegemony of 
monopoly capital under the leadership of the USA is hanging over all 
peoples and their mass movements.

The September 11 events provided an excellent justification to launch, 
under the pretext of the war against terrorism, an unprecedented attack 
against the freedoms and rights of the peoples.

Imperialists consider that any resistance movement fighting against 
capitalist globalisation and their international organisations (IMF, W.B., 
WTO), or any anti-imperialist movement fighting against intervention and 
war, and against NATO can now be considered to be terrorist.

The participants in the conference said that the struggle of peoples and 
movements for social liberation and national independence has nothing to do 
with terrorist methods.

"Communists, having a long experience, are well aware of the methods used 
by imperialist and reactionary forces to slander the social and national 
liberation movements", said their statement.

While condemning terrorism the meeting declared the struggle of the people 
for their social rights and national independence to be just."Terrorism as 
a concept and as a political practice is an erroneous and dangerous tactic 
for the progressive movement. The only ones benefiting from terrorist acts 
are the most reactionary, brutal and racist forces of the imperialist camp, 
which are hostile to the peoples."

In a significant conclusion the conference statement said that after 
"examining the facts, the participants of the meeting considered that the 
aims of the offensive of the imperialist forces were not formulated after 
the September 11 [events], but had existed before the terrorist attacks in 
the USA.

The participants considered that humanity as a whole is subjected to the 
implementation of a particularly dangerous plan that jeopardises security, 
peace and stability in large areas of our planet.

The statement condemned the imperialist war unleashed by the US and NATO 
against the Afghani people, causing thousands of innocent victims.

Real objective

The real goal of this war was to secure full control over the energy 
resources and oil and natural gas routes in the strategic region that links 
the former Soviet republics of Central Asia with Russia, China, India, and 
the other states in the region.

The conference strongly opposed any spreading of this war into other 
countries and denounced the fact that this policy aims at intimidating the 
peoples and forces fighting for their legitimate rights.

Special attention was paid to the war preparations against Iraq. The 
participants condemned any aggression against Iraq and called for action to 
protect the Iraqi people from any new attack and help overcome any new 
obstacles in the fight to lift the embargo, the fight against the 
dictatorship, for the cause of a democratic and federal Iraq.

They expressed their concern on the concentration of Turkish troops on one 
side of the border and of Iraqi troops on the other side aiming to invade 
Kurdistan, threatening in this way the security and integrity of its people 
fighting for federation.

The meeting reaffirmed the need to develop strong links through common 
actions and co-ordination among the Communist and Workers' Parties and to 
defend the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of 
independent, sovereign states and the principle of respect of their 
territorial integrity and independence.

The conference declared its opposition to NATO and the consequences of its 
aggressive policy in the region, as well as to every attempt to expand NATO 
further towards the Mediterranean.

The Parties also agreed to intensify their struggle against the conditions 
imposed by the G-8, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, which express the 
domination of the imperialists and monopoly capital.

They also agreed to support actions to cancel the foreign debts of the 
developing countries and, until this is achieved, to freeze yearly payments 
for servicing the debt.

The conference expressed its solidarity with the struggle of the 
Palestinian people for a just and peaceful solution in their struggle to 
establish their own independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, 
in accordance with the UN's resolutions.

The Parties called for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their 
homes. They condemned the aggressiveness and brutality of the Israeli 
occupation forces in the West Bank and Gaza strip and demanded an immediate 
end to the brutal siege of President Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah.

The Parties also agreed to continue their dialogue and exchange information 
about common problems in the fields of theory and ideology.

There was an extensive debate on a concrete proposal to establish a Centre 
for Research on the problems of the region. The participants stressed the 
usefulness of this effort, which could contribute to a better scientific 
support of their political actions and projects concerning important social 
and economic problems that concern the peoples of the region as a whole.

* * *
The participating parties were: AKEL, Cyprus; Egyptian Communist Party; Communist Party of Greece; Tudeh Party of Iran; Iraqi Communist Party; Communist Party of Kurdistan-Iraq; Communist Party of Israel; Jordanian Communist Party; Lebanese Communist Party; Palestinian People's Party; Communist Party of Sudan; Syrian Communist Party; and Syrian Communist Party. Note: There are two Syrian parties with the same name.

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