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.