World reacts to Nice terror attack

Politicians from around the world have reacted with horror after a Muslim terrorist driving a truck smashed into a crowd in the French town of Nice, killing at least 84 as they watched a Bastille Day fireworks display.

Tunisia said that the terrorist, who police said held joint French-Tunisian citizenship, had committed an act of “extreme cowardice” and expressed solidarity with France against the “scourge of terrorism.”

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Here are a summary of reactions from around the world:

United States:

— US President Barack Obama condemned what he said appeared to be a “horrific terrorist attack.”

“We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack,” he said in a statement.

“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 Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been in Paris earlier in the day for a Bastille Day parade, said: “The United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed.”

 

— Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, told Fox News that should he be elected to the White House, he would ask Congress to pass a declaration of war on the Islamic State group.

— Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is a possible VP pick for Trump, told Fox News that the US needed to “test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization.”

— New York mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that he was “sickened by news of another senseless attack.”

— Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted: “My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those killed in Nice. The United States stands ready to support the French people.”

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Israel:

— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israel condemns in the strongest terms last night’s horrific attack in Nice. We are again reminded that terrorism can strike anywhere and must be fought everywhere. Israel is ready to help the French government fight this evil until it is defeated.”

In a letter to French President Francois Hollande, Netanyahu writes that the attack in Nice “was a clear but futile attempt to undermine the very foundations of the French Republic,” and that “civilized nations” must “come together to defeat the forces of medeivalism.”

“On behalf of the people and Government of Israel, I send our heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to the wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of France on this sad day,” Netanyahu wrote.

— Israeli President Reuven Rivlin: “Israel stands with France and the Israeli people stand with the French people, shoulder to shoulder in the face of this terrible evil.”

— Former Israeli President Shimon Peres called on world leaders to “cooperate in the war on murderous terror that harms us all.”

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European Union:

— Germany “stands alongside France in the fight against terrorism,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that “words can barely express” what France’s allies felt.

— Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy evoked “the pain of all good people, who are potential victims of barbarism, folly and the greatest contempt for human life”.

— European Council President Donald Tusk called it “a sad day for France, for Europe.” He said it was “tragic” that “the subjects of the attack were people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity.”

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: “The cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack that hit the town of Nice during the night has profoundly shocked, saddened and afflicted me. Once more, so many dreams have been destroyed, so many life plans cut short, so many biographies broken. We ask ourselves when is it going to stop?”

“We feel a profound connection with and sympathy for the people of Nice, with the town of Nice, where many Europeans go to relax, to live their lives, and we are profoundly connected with the people of France,” he said. “Long live France, and long live its Republic.”

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United Kingdom:

— A spokesman for new British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack “a terrible incident”, adding “we are shocked and concerned.”

— Boris Johnson, whose first engagement as Britain’s new foreign secretary was at the French ambassador’s Bastille Day party in London, said on Twitter: “Shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice, and the terrible loss of life.”

— London Mayor Sadiq Khan offered his sympathies to the people of Nice over the “unspeakable act of terror on a day of celebration.”

“Today we will be reviewing our own safety measures in light of this attack,” he said. “Londoners today stand united with Nice and all of France in our grief. They will not win. Not in France, not in London, not anywhere. We will defeat their poisonous and twisted ideology.”

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Russia:

— Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday condemned the attack in Nice as an act of “monstrous evil” and expressed shock at the “savagery and particular cynicism of this crime committed on your country’s national holiday,” during Bastille Day celebrations.

“We have seen once more that human morality is absolutely alien to terrorism: people who are absolutely innocent become its victims, including women and children,” Putin said, stressing the need to “eradicate or neutralize militants and their ideologues wherever they are hiding” and promising Russia’s “closest cooperation with France and other international partners in all areas of fighting terrorism.”

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Muslim and Arab World:

— Egypt’s top Muslim cleric Shawki Allam condemned the assailant as an “extremist” who “follows in the footsteps of the devil.”

“Islam never called for the spilling of blood,” Allam said in a statement. “People who commit such ugly crimes are corrupt of the earth, and follow in the footsteps of Satan… and are cursed in this life and in the hereafter.”

— The six Gulf Arab states issued a joint statement saying that they “strongly” condemned the “terrorist” act in Nice.

“The Gulf Cooperation Council states stand in solidarity with the French republic following this cowardly criminal incident whose perpetrators have been stripped of all moral and human values,” the bloc’s secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said.

— Saudi Arabia issued its own statement condemning the “heinous terrorist” act, adding that it stands in “solidarity” with France and will “cooperate with it in confronting terrorist acts in all their forms.”

— United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said: “This heinous terrorist crime makes it imperative for all to work decisively and without hesitation to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

— Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, whose own country suffered deadly suicide bombings at Istanbul’s airport two weeks ago, condemned the “cowardly terrorist attack that has bloodied Nice on this national celebration day.”

— Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit denounced the “craven terrorist attack,” his spokesman said.

— Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said in a statement: “As we have repeatedly said before, terrorism is an evil phenomenon that will only be eradicated through international unity and collaboration.”

— The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned “in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack” in Nice. “Palestine firmly stands in solidarity with France in this painful time, we extend our sympathies and condolences to the families of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery for those injured.”

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Canada:

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter: “Canadians are shocked by tonight’s attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people.”

China:

— Chinese Premier Li Keqiang offered his “condolences” to the victims and said China opposed all forms of terrorism.

Latin America:

— Latin American leaders also condemned the carnage, with Brazilian interim president Michel Temer declaring: “Today, more than ever, we are all French.” Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa added that he was sending France “a hug” after “a tragedy caused by insanity.”

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Others:

— UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Bastille Day attack and called for intensified efforts to confront terrorism and violent extremism.

Ban “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,” a UN statement said.

— The United Nations Security Council called the attack “barbaric and cowardly.”

— The Vatican said in a statement that it “condemned in the strongest possible terms” the bloodshed in Nice.

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