"The battle against terrorism is a long-term battle"

Outgoing Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere (Flemish Christian democrat) has sent his congratulations to the United States after the death of Osama Bin Laden. He analyses the speech given by Barack Obama, pointing to the fact that the battle against terrorism has changed, and that it is all but over.

Mr Vanackere was informed through a text message sent by his spokesman. For him also, the death of Osama Bin Laden came as a surprise.

Belgium's Foreign Minister analysed the speech delivered by American president Barack Obama. "It was clear that he left no stone unturned to express his gratitude to the Pakistani government for their cooperation."

It is clear that the United States have adopted a new approach in their battle against terrorism. "Contrary to his predecessor Bush, Obama insists on the fact that the battle against terrorism is a battle of alliances conducted by the international community as a whole. That's why he finds it important that a country like Pakistan is mentioned."

Obama also stressed that Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, but a mass murderer of Muslim people. "That's very important to say and it is really true. I think we should repeat that. Those who say that Bin Laden was a leader of the Muslim people, is doing them wrong. The Muslim world does not want to be represented by people who focus on killing thousands of citizens."

Still, the number 2 of al-Qaeda is still on the run. "The battle against terrorism is a long-term battle", Mr Vanackere points out. "The death of Bin Laden does not mark the end of al-Qaeda."