World leaders' horror at Nice attack

2016-07-15 15:12
Flowers and a note reading "Pray for Nice" are placed in front of the French Embassy in Berlin. (John Macdougall, AFP)

Flowers and a note reading "Pray for Nice" are placed in front of the French Embassy in Berlin. (John Macdougall, AFP)

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Paris - Politicians and public figures from around the world reacted with horror and expressions of solidarity with France after a truck smashed into a crowd in the Cote d'Azur resort city of Nice.

At least 84 people were killed as they watched a Bastille Day fireworks display, in what French President Francois Hollande called a "terrorist" attack. More than 50 children were among those hospitalised.

Following are the main reactions:

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.

"On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."

US PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL HILLARY CLINTON: "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."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: "Germany stands alongside France in the fight against terrorism. Words can barely express the bond between us and our French friends."

UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON, according to a UN statement, "stands firmly behind the French government and people as they confront this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism".

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY: "We are shocked and concerned by the scenes there. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration."

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU: "Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people."

CHINESE PREMIER LI KEQIANG offered his "condolences" to the victims and said China opposed all forms of terrorism.

UN SECURITY COUNCIL: "[A] barbaric and cowardly attack... the perpetrators of these acts [need to be brought] to justice".

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI: "There is a moral duty to react. Italy and the international community undertake not to leave the French on their own. The images coming out of Nice make words stick in the throat, fingers halt on the keyboard. Pain, emotion, solidarity."

NATO: "This attack targeted innocent people and the core values for which Nato stands. But terrorism will never defeat democracy, freedom and our open societies."

THE VATICAN: "We condemn in the strongest terms all manifestations of homicidal madness, hatred, terrorism and every attack against peace."

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: "Russia stands in solidarity with the people of France... we have seen once again that terrorism is completely blind to human morality."

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT DONALD TUSK: "A sad day for France, for Europe... tragic... that the subjects of the attack were people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity."

EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHIEF JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER: "France can count on the European Commission to continue to support the fight against terrorism both inside and outside the EU. Our resolve will remain as firm as our unity."

ASIA-EUROPE SUMMIT STATEMENT in Mongolia: "We strongly condemn the heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks...We reaffirm our commitment to join forces to fight the plague of terrorism and underline the need to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks."

BRAZILIAN INTERIM PRESIDENT MICHEL TEMER: "Today, more than ever, we are all French."

MUSLIM AND MIDEAST LEADERS also issued condemnations.

Sunni Islam's leading centre of learning, AL-AZHAR, said the "vile terrorist attack" contradicted Islam and called for "uniting efforts to defeat terrorism and rid the world of its evil," while the FRENCH COUNCIL OF THE MUSLIM FAITH (CFCM) said it "utterly condemned" the bloodshed.

IRAN called the attack a "criminal terrorist incident," its arch-rival SAUDI ARABIA blasted a "heinous terrorist" act and the six Arab states in the GULF CO-OPERATION COUNCIL said the perpetrators had been "stripped of all moral and human values".

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