Statement by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (10 september):
Today, on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we grieve together with our American friends.
We mourn with those who lost friends and relatives that day and those who were seriously injured or traumatized. None of us will ever forget that fateful day.
Even now, 20 years later, we must not lose sight of the fact that September 11 was an attack not only against the United States, but against each and every one of us. The almost 3000 people who lost their lives that day came from 92 different countries; 11 of them were from Germany. The reality remains that lingering instability, extremism and terrorism, even in more distant parts of the world, will, at some point affect us all.
We need a critical reflection on much that has happened after September 11. Recent events in Afghanistan have been another very brutal reminder of this. We owe it to ourselves to be honest, but we also owe it to the many people who worked for years for Afghanistan’s development to be fair. Their commitment was and will always be important and valuable.
20 years later, we ask ourselves: what now? I am convinced that our answer must not be to reduce our wide range of activities for peace and security around the world – staying on the sidelines is the worst way of serving our interests and safeguarding our security.
Part of the answer must lie in the renewal of our alliances – and especially today in affirming our friendship and partnership with the United States of America.