Jul 15, 2016 12:01 PM
World leaders express horror at attack; sympathy for France
The Associated Press
NICE, France — World leaders are expressing dismay, sadness and solidarity with France over the attack carried out by a man who drove truck into crowds of people celebrating France's national day in Nice, killing at least 84 people:
President Barack Obama condemned what "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack" in Nice.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed," he said.
Noting that the attack occurred on Bastille Day, the French national holiday, Obama praised "the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."
Secretary of State John Kerry called it a "horrendous attack in Nice. ... I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy."
Both presidential candidates also condemned the attacks, with Republican Donald Trump declaring "this is war" and Democrat Hillary Clinton vowing "we will not be intimidated."
Clinton said "every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France, and we say with one voice: We will not be intimidated. We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life."
Trump, who postponed plans to announce his vice presidential pick because of the attack, said "this is war. If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts."
British Prime Minister Theresa May is calling for nations to "redouble" efforts to defeat violent extremists following the attack in Nice. She called the attack "horrifying" and said Britain will stand with France in its time of mourning.
"We must redouble our efforts to defeat these brutal murderers who want to destroy our way of life," the new prime minister said Friday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged solidarity with France in the aftermath of the attack, saying "Germany stands at France's side in the fight against terrorism."
Speaking on the sidelines of a summit in Mongolia, Merkel added: "I am completely convinced that we will win this fight despite all difficulties."
On a state visit to Uruguay, German President Joachim Gauck said Friday that "the 14th of July, the day when France celebrates its national day, represents the values of the French Revolution, which are our values as well."
"An attack on France, therefore, is an attack on the entire free world," he said.
Germany's Foreign Ministry flew the French flag in solidarity with its neighbor, and flags on all public buildings were ordered flown at half-staff.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says a response to the Nice attacks is a "moral duty" and is vowing not to leave Italy's neighbor alone. In a Facebook post, Renzi said the pain of the attacks was made worse because so many children were killed and maimed on France's national holiday.
He wrote: "We're used to seeing postcards from Nice full of beauty, not images of death with a doll near a destroyed stroller. Reacting is a moral duty."
European Council President Donald Tusk expressed consternation that France was attacked on its national day and said the world stands united with the French people.
"It is a tragic paradox that the victims of the attack were people celebrating liberty, quality and fraternity. We will stand united with the families of victims, the French people and the government in the fight against violence and hatred," Tusk said.
The EU lowered its flags to half-staff outside its headquarters Friday and the EU Commission's daily media briefing observed a moment of silence.
NATO's chief said he was "appalled and saddened" by the attack in Nice and that alliance's other member nations "stand in strong solidarity with the people of France."
"This attack targeted innocent people and the core values for which NATO stands," alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. "But terrorism will never defeat democracy, freedom and our open societies."
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the French embassy in Kiev to deliver a message of condolences over the Nice attack.
Poroshenko said in remarks distributed by his press office that he was shocked by the cynicism of the attack on the Bastille Day, "a holiday which symbolizes the French Revolution as well as the values which later came to unite the entire Europe: freedom, equality and fraternity."
"We are with France in this difficult hour," he said in a message he left in the book of condolences.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is "heartbroken" by the attack in Nice.
"Canada and France are the closest of friends, and we stand by the French people as they face this terrible ordeal," he said in a statement.
"Senseless acts like this one are not isolated events, and we will continue to work with our allies and partners to fight terrorism in all of its forms," he added.
ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION
The world's largest Islamic bloc is denouncing the deadly attack in Nice as a barbaric, shocking and brutal act.
The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation's Secretary General Iyad Madani said in a statement Friday that initial investigations suggest the attack has the marks of a terrorist act.
Madani says the "perpetrator and those behind him are an affront to humanity and all moral and human values."
But he warns such acts play into the hands of political forces on the extreme right and says "Islamophobic voices that are ever ready to frame Islam and its 2 billion adherents."
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he was "shocked by the violence and exceptional cynicism" of Thursday's attack in Nice.
Putin sent condolences to French President Francois Hollande on Friday and said that terrorism can be defeated only if "all civilized mankind pulls efforts together" to fight militants, their leaders as well as targeting their financial backers "wherever they are hiding."
Putin said Russia is willing to work closely with France and other countries to fight terrorism which is "devoid of any human moral."
Iran's Foreign Ministry says the attack in Nice shows a need for stronger cooperation to fight terrorism. Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi says "terrorism is an ominous phenomenon that will be eradicated only with international cooperation and consensus."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack shows "terrorism has no religion, race or nationality."
Erdogan said Friday that "those who carried out this brutal incident have nothing to do with humanity. In essence these barbarians have no place in this world or should they have."
"We need to see that for the terror organizations, there is no difference between Turkey and France, between Iraq and Belgium, between Saudi Arabia and the United States."
King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed Spain's condolences to the French people and government following the Nice attack and pledged the country's full support.
Rajoy promised all the necessary cooperation to "detect, pursue and punish the terrorists and those who support and back them.'"
"Today we feel the immense pain that afflicts our neighbors," Rajoy said, adding that terrorism posed a global threat that demanded a comprehensive global response.
State institutions across Spain held a minute's silence at noon for the Nice victims and flags were set at half-staff.
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders expressed dismay that France was once again the target of an apparent terrorist attack. "We condemn such an attack, maybe a terrorist attack, but such an attack in France again," he said.
Ireland's president says all lovers of freedom worldwide support the people of France as they absorb the horror of another mass killing.
Michael D. Higgins says after meeting France's ambassador in Dublin: "This cowardly attack in a public place on a national day of celebration must be condemned in the strongest terms. We must strengthen our resolve not to let such cold-blooded attacks undermine the way of life in our global community seeking to live in diversity and peace."
Greece's Foreign Ministry says the attack in France targeted "the cradle of the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity," adding that "the action of barbaric terrorism is doomed to fail."
"We express the certainty that, in spite of radical extremists, France, the beacon of the ideas of enlightenment, of democracy and of freedom will continue to ceaselessly shine its light on Europe and the World," the ministry said.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says the attack in France shows "we face a threat of perverse, fanatical ideology, despising humanity and human life."
Sobotka said France has his country's support and solidarity, saying "We have to defeat terrorism together."
Czech President Milos Zeman said the attack is a reminder that "the western democracies find themselves at a time when they have to get again united and defend the values on which they were built with no mercy and no compromise."
Prime Minister Taavi Roivas condemned "a terrible attack on innocent people celebrating their national day. Today, we all stand together with the French people."
Pope Francis has condemned the terror attack in Nice during national Bastille Day celebrations.
The Vatican said "we condemn in an absolute manner all manifestations of homicidal folly, hatred, terrorism and attacks against peace."
Israel's prime minister is condemning the "horrific" attack on revelers in Nice. Benjamin Netanyahu says the attack was a reminder that "terrorism can strike anywhere and must be fought everywhere." He said Israel was prepared to help France "fight this evil until it is defeated."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has sent a condolence letter to the French president following the attack in Nice. The official news agency WAFA reported that Abbas condemned the attack "in the strongest terms" and "declared his solidarity with the French people and the families of the victims."
Premier Li Keqiang said "we strongly condemn terrorism of all forms. We express our condolences to the victims and we will fight all kinds of terrorism."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned what he called a mindless attack.
"I am appalled by the horrific attack in Nice. I strongly condemn such mindless acts of violence. My thoughts are with the families of deceased," he said. "India shares the pain and stands firmly with our French sisters and brothers in this hour of immense sadness."
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government and people of Pakistan were deeply saddened by the attack.
"Being the front-line state in the war against terror, Pakistan itself has suffered immensely and has seen a series of tragedies," he said.
President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan is calling the Nice attack a "brutal and unforgiveable crime, unjustifiable under any circumstances."
In a statement issued by the presidential palace in Kabul, Ghani said terrorism does not recognize borders, nationality, faith or religion, posing a threat to the region and the world. Ghani expressed condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of victims of the attack, and to all French people.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has extended his deepest sympathies to President Francois Hollande and the people of France for "the abhorrent terrorist attack in the French city of Nice." A statement from the presidential office says el-Sissi reiterated his support for international efforts to combat terrorism, which "knows neither borders nor religion."
Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Allam also condemned the Nice attack, saying the perpetrators of such attacks "have followed the footsteps of the devil, shed blood, and terrorized" innocent people.
Saudi King Salman has sent his condolences to French President Francois Hollande, expressing his sadness over the attack in Nice and saying the kingdom stands by France in its "rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and the importance of international efforts to confront and eliminate it."
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said three Australians suffered minor injuries while fleeing the scene.
"It has shocked France, it has rocked it to its core," Bishop told reporters in the Western Australia capital of Perth. "This should have been a time of great national pride and celebration."
Bishop condemned the violence, saying it was a reminder that "no country is immune from terrorist attacks."
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos took to his official Twitter account on Friday to send his support.
"Our solidarity with the victims and wounded in the Nice attack. We reject all forms of violence," wrote Santos, whose country has suffered from its own share of violence during decades of civil conflict.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on his Twitter account sent "a hug to France on its national day in the face of a tragedy generated by insanity. "
The ruler of oil-rich Kuwait condemned the attack in Nice, France, saying it "runs counter to all religious teachings and humanitarian values."
The state-run Kuwait News Agency said the ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, sent a cable of condolence to French President Francois Hollande over the assault. Sheikh Sabah said Kuwait "supports all measures France might take to protect its security against the terrorist acts."
Lebanon is expressing empathy with France in the face of the "cowardly" attack that struck in Nice, targeting what it called "the lung" of Mediterranean tourism.
The Foreign Ministry blamed the attack on the "terrorism beast" which struck France on its national day, a "symbolic day for the sacrifices of the French people throughout its history to build the culture of freedom, equality and brotherhood." Lebanon called for joint international efforts to stem terrorism.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The seven sheikhdoms of the United Arab Emirates condemned the "heinous terrorist crime" that struck Nice.
In a statement, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan pledged to stand with the people of France after the assault. Sheikh Abdullah also stressed the attack "makes it imperative for everyone to work together decisively and without hesitation to counter terrorism in all its forms."
The UAE is part of the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group and hosts American and Western military personnel involved in the fight.
Tiny gas-rich Qatar has condemned the "heinous" attack in Nice, France. The Foreign Ministry said the assault "is contrary to all human, ethical values and religions." It said it stood in solidarity with France after the attack.
Qatar, on the Arabian Peninsula, hosts a major American military base home to U.S. Central Command and has not faced any militant attack like neighboring Saudi Arabia. That U.S. base is involved in the battle against the Islamic State group.
Japan expressed "strong shock and anger" following the truck attack in Nice. Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan also aims to strengthen its counter-terrorism and border measurements to ensure safety of Japan.
President Jacob Zuma says South Africa "stands firmly with the international community in condemning all forms of terrorism and stands in solidarity with the government of the Republic of France as they mourn the death of their citizens."
"South Africa shares in the grief of the French people and wishes the injured survivors a speedy recovery. Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned," he said in a statement.