BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Representatives of 20 countries joined Argentine lawmakers in signing a statement decrying global terrorism ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center bombing.
The French Embassy in Buenos Aires and the Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA organized the meeting Tuesday of the countries’ representatives to take a stand together against international terrorism, as well as in solidarity with Argentina’s Jewish community over the July 18, 1994, terrorist attack against the AMIA that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.
DAIA prepared the declaration “in memory of the victims of international terrorism.”
The signers included ambassadors or top diplomats from Belarus, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
DAIA’s president, Ariel Cohen Sabban, told JTA that he believes that views of Islamic terrorism have changed since several attacks have hit Europe.
“It could be … better late than never the world is realizing that we need to fight together as one against terror,” he told JTA.
The French ambassador to Argentina, Pierre Henri Guignard, told JTA: “We never were indifferent to terrorism. In France we suffered for years during different waves of terrorism. In the end there are always innocent victims of a blind violence, and we need to combat this terrorism.”
Britain’s deputy head of mission in Buenos Aires, Richard Barlow, said Europe is “very close with our partners in the Middle East, Jordan, Israel, the government of Iraq and many other countries, and we are trying to find ways of tackling religious hatred and intolerance.”
The newly appointed Spanish ambassador, Javier Sandomingo, said, “We suffered terrible Islamic terrorist attacks. We are in solidarity with everyone that suffers what we suffered,” said
Sabban and Guignard each spoke briefly at the ceremony before representatives of countries that have suffered terrorist attacks lit a candle and signed the document. The Argentine secretary of human rights, Claudio Avruj, also attended the event.
Also Tuesday at the Argentine Parliament, representatives of all of the country’s main political parties signed a declaration in memory of the AMIA attack victims and against terrorism.
Most, but not all, of those killed and injured in the AMIA bombing were Jewish. No one has ever been brought to justice in the attack, which appears to be a suicide bombing.