x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Gulf leaders join global condemnation of Paris attacks

The coordinated killings in the French capital reverberated around the world after shootings by gunmen, explosions and a hostage-taking at a popular concert venue in Paris killed more than 120 people.

Leaders from the Arabian Gulf, Europe and the US have condemned the wave of attacks in Paris that killed at least 120 people.

The UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, sent a telegram to French president Francois Hollande offering his condolences and pledging support for France.

Sheikh Khalifa expressed the UAE’s complete solidarity with France and expressed support in doing “what it takes to face terrorism and eliminate it”, reported state-run Wam news agency on Saturday.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, also sent cables of condolences to the French president.

Saudi Arabia strongly condemned and denounced the explosions in Paris, the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted an official from the foreign ministry.

In Kuwait, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah offered his condolences, while stressing that “these criminal acts of terrorism ... run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values”.

Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi on Saturday condemned gun and bomb attacks in Paris, saying they showed the need for action against militants worldwide.

“We condemn and deplore the terrorist attacks in Paris, which emphasise that fighting terrorism calls for international efforts to eliminate it in all countries,” Mr Al Abadi said.

The coordinated killings in the French capital reverberated around the world.

Countries such as the United States, Britain, Spain and India, which have experienced their own mass-casualty attacks, were among the first to voice their condemnation.

“It’s an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share,” president Barack Obama said in an address at the White House.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”

In London, where 52 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a series of coordinated suicide bombings in 2005, British prime minister David Cameron said: “We will do whatever we can to help.”

Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, the foreign minister of Spain, where 191 people were killed in train bombings in 2004, raised the spectre of an extremist attack.

“All of this confirms that we are facing an unprecedented challenge, a hugely cruel challenge,” he said.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, whose country was hit by two major attacks in 2006 and 2008 that saw a total of 355 people killed, said on Twitter the “news from Paris is anguishing & dreadful”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, where twin bombings on a peace rally in Ankara last month killed 102 people, offered his condolences.

“As a country that knows very well the manner and consequences of terrorism, we understand perfectly the suffering that France is experiencing now,” he said.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani branded the attacks “crimes against humanity” as Tehran announced he would postpone a scheduled trip to Paris.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted that she was “in the process of following with pain and dread the events in Paris”.

In neighbouring Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “profoundly shocked by the news and images from Paris”, while Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders tweeted: “Shocked and appalled by new attacks in #Paris. Words are not enough.”

In Australia, where a lone gunman reportedly shouting religious slogans killed a man outside police headquarters in Sydney last month, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the French people for their response, describing France as “the home of freedom”.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop said “this is indeed a black Friday for France and for the world”.

* With agencies