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Letter to Richard Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America.

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Kim Beazley - Letter to Richard Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America //media/0901/kbmsrcus140901.html Wednesday, 19 September 2001

Letter to Richard Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America Kim Beazley - Leader of the Opposition

14 September 2001

The Honourable Richard Cheney Vice President of the United States of America The White House WASHINGTON D.C.

Dear Vice President Cheney

I wrote to the President two mornings ago to extend my deepest condolences and that of the Australian Labor Party. You know Australians well - and you therefore know that we are with you at this terrible time.

All Australians have admired the heroism, resolve and determination of the American people and their government. A new chapter is being written in American history - of tragedy and adversity you didn't deserve, but also of strength and courage few could match.

We have all been impressed by the US Government's rational, deliberative and calibrated response to this tragedy. America's quiet unyielding anger is not doubted, and is shared by your friends. Lincoln said we should have faith that right will make might. Establishing right will give you, your friends and your allies the might of justice.

The policy reason for writing to you today is to confirm, for continuity of planning reasons, the future attitude of the alternative government of Australia to an international response to these heinous acts. In doing so, I stress that the Commonwealth of Australia speaks with one voice at any one time in these matters, whatever the political shape of our national leadership. Accordingly, I have already indicated bipartisan support for the Government's expression of support for an appropriate international retaliatory response.

So there is no uncertainty in US planning regarding future Australian attitudes, I confirm that should Labor win office in the next few months, Australia will remain committed to an international intelligence, police and military effort against those who committed these atrocities and those who supported and harboured them.

I also announced yesterday that beyond this action, Labor would commit Australia to a strong international coalition to fight terrorism wherever it threatens democratic and peaceful nations, as suggested by Secretary Powell.

My personal thoughts are with you at this stressful time as you and the President work so professionally through the many challenges you face, while having to cope with the human tragedy of this nightmare. In light of the policy elements of this letter, I have copied it to the Prime Minister.

Yours sincerely

Kim C Beazley Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.