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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks At Roundtable Discussion with Jewish Leaders, AMIA Cultural Center
Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 17, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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[Text as prepared for delivery]

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Dr. Cichowolski. Dr. Ostrower, President Nul, it is an honor for me to be here today, to meet with you, and to visit this newly reopened headquarters for the Jewish community in Argentina.

The history of this site is a tragic one. In 1994, it was the scene of a cowardly attack by international terrorists. The bombing was aimed at the heart and soul of the Jewish community but it was an assault on Argentina's society as a whole.

Earlier this summer, members of the Jewish community, together with President De La Rua and thousands of representatives from all segments of Argentine society, marked the sixth anniversary of the devastating attack. The presence here today of Foreign Minister Rodriguez Giavarini demonstrates the commitment of his administration to working closely with the Jewish community on issues of mutual concern.

As with all terrorist attacks, those responsible for the 1994 bombing failed in their basic objective. Today, the Jewish community is more determined than ever to exercise its religious freedom, to affirm its identity, and to promote mutual understanding for all ethnic and religious communities in this great country.

I am heartened to see how the community has rebuilt this site into an even more vibrant center for the preservation and encouragement of Jewish life in Argentina. And the memorial in the courtyard to the 86 men, women, and children who died in the attack is a touching and poignant remembrance.

Even though six years have gone by, time has not lessened our grief or our sense of loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who were killed or seriously injured. And we are united in our resolve to combat terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head.

We will continue to cooperate with the Argentine government, as we have ever since the attack, to identify those guilty of this horrendous crime, and to bring them to justice. Our two governments have cooperated in training counter-terrorism teams and I believe this cooperation has helped to make any further attacks of this sort much less likely in the future.

In our meeting today, I look forward to discussing ways to promote religious understanding and to hearing your perspectives on the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you very much.

[End of Document]
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