UK | World leaders stand with Britain after London attack
Flowers are laid at the scene after an attack on Westminster Bridge in London. Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay
Flowers are laid at the scene after an attack on Westminster Bridge in London. Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay

World leaders stand with Britain after London attack

China Premier Li Keqiang and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull are among those who condemn incident

March 23, 2017 1:18 PM (UTC+8)

World leaders unanimously condemned the attack in the heart of London by a man who was shot dead by armed police, with many saying they stand with Britain.

At least four people were killed and more than 40 injured in the attack outside parliament Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians with a car then leapt out and stabbed a police officer.

In an address outside her Downing Street office, Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as “sick and depraved” saying the assailant chose the site as an assault on Britain’s democratic values.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the assault was an attack on “freedom and democracy everywhere.”

“But we will never, ever let the terrorists win. We will defeat and destroy them on the battlefield, we will defeat and defy them at home,” he said. “We will never change the way we live. We will never let them divide us.”

Speaking alongside Turnbull in Canberra,Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said: “We send our condolences to the prime minister of the UK and together we condemn terrorism and we stand against all forms of terrorism.”

Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday at a regular briefing:  “We are shocked and angered at the terror attack that generated many deaths and injuries.

“The government absolutely condemns the despicable terror attack. We express our heartfelt condolences to victims and bereaved families,” he said, adding: “Japan expresses a keen sense of unity with the British people.”

Singapore’s ministry of foreign affairs said, “The people of Singapore stand in solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom at this difficult time.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stood “firmly and resolutely alongside Britons in the struggle against all forms of terrorism,” while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier added: “In these grave moments, we Germans feel very close to the British people.”

French President Francois Hollande sent a message of “solidarity” and “support to the British people” saying France could identify with their pain after the attack, in which three French high school students were also wounded.

“France, which has been hit so hard in recent times, knows what the British people are suffering today,” he said.

And Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: “Solidarity with our British friends, horribly attacked, full support for the injured French students, their families and their friends.”

The White House condemned the attack and pledged “the full support of the US government in responding to the attack and bringing those to justice who are responsible,” spokesman Sean Spicer said at a briefing.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the attack left him “highly emotional.”

In Brussels to commemorate the one-year anniversary of attacks on the main airport and a metro station, Juncker said “the fact that exactly on the same day something similar happened in London, and to London, is really putting me in the situation of someone who does not have… enough words to express how I am deeply feeling.”

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “My thoughts are with the victims of the Westminster attack. Europe stands firm with the UK against terror and ready to help.”

Speaking on Russian television, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sent Moscow’s “condolences” and said Russia felt Britain’s pain.

“We consider it an evil to which it is necessary to fight collectively. In this moment, as always, our hearts are with Britons and we share their pain.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that “Turkey feels and shares deeply in the United Kingdom’s pain” and that it stood in “solidarity” with Britain “in the fight against terrorism.”

Erdogan had earlier warned Europeans in a speech on Wednesday that “no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” as a crisis between Ankara and the EU showed no signs of abating.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called terrorism “a global catastrophe” on Turkish television, adding: “All countries should come together on the terror issue and fight together against” it.

 

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