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Ashcroft to focus on terrorism in Europe trip


From Terry Frieden
CNN Washington

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The threat of terrorism was at the top of Attorney General John Ashcroft's agenda Friday as he packed his bags for a series of meetings in Europe on international cooperation in the fight against global terrorism.

Aides said the Attorney General was aware of the investigation into a possible terrorism threat unfolding in Florida, but that it did not delay his departure.

Ashcroft is set to depart Washington late Friday for a meeting with his European Union counterparts Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ashcroft is scheduled to address the weekend gathering of EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers in the Danish capital on the continuing threat of terrorism. While in Copenhagen, Ashcroft will hold private meetings with representatives of Germany, France and Spain. All three countries have played significant roles in the post 9/11 investigation.

Ashcroft will meet with Belgian officials in Brussels Monday. Aides say he is also expected to travel to Luxembourg for meetings Monday night with national and EU law enforcement officials, before returning to the United States.




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