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Tuesday 20th March 2018

World Leaders Condemn New Zealand Mosque Attack

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 13:36 GMT

The deadly shootings that targeted two mosques in the New Zealand's city of Christchurch on Friday March 15th, killing 49 Muslim worshippers, and injuring at least 20, others have stirred widespread condemnation throughout the world, with world leaders united in describing it as "horrific," AP has reported.

Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand's head of state, said she was "deeply saddened" by the attacks on the two mosques, which has left many fatalities and casualties behind.

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders," she wrote.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand following the attacks, and said in a statement that the news is "heartbreaking."

US President Donald Trump condemned as a "horrible massacre" the twin mosque attacks.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, assured "all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity."

"The Pope was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life, caused by the senseless acts of violence," Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, said in a telegram.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a tweet, denounced the "odious crimes against the mosques in New Zealand," and said that France will work with its international partners to fight terrorism.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tweeted that she was "shocked by the attack in Christchurch," saying "we condemn terrorism in all forms."

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen also commented that "extremism has again shown its ugly face."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was shocked at the "terrible attacks" that killed dozens of worshippers.

"We emphatically condemn violence and the lack of reason of fanatics and extremists who want to break our societies," Sanchez wrote in a tweet.

Germany's Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, said the attacks in Christchurch were a "brutal crime" that touched people of all religions around the world.

"The horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch targeted peacefully praying Muslims, if people are murdered solely because of their religion, that is an attack on all of us," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack, calling it the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia."

Erdogan continued: "I call on Western countries especially to rapidly take measures against this dangerous turn that threatens the whole of humanity."

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan also branded the attack as "Islamphobia," adding that "terrorism does not have a religion."

He said: "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim."

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a news conference, offered his "heartfelt" condolences to the victims of mosque attacks and their families, expressing "solidarity with the people of New Zealand."

Malaysia's government slammed the attack as an act of terror, with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad urging the New Zealand government to do its best to "arrest these terrorists."

The Malaysian foreign ministry said two of its nationals were wounded and have been hospitalized.

"Malaysia condemns in the strongest terms this senseless act of terror on innocent civilians and hopes that those responsible for this barbaric crime be brought to justice," the ministry said in a statement.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also tweeted her condolences, saying she was "utterly saddened by the mass shooting in New Zealand. My thoughts go to the victims & their families."

In the Arab world, the Gulf States denounced the attack on mosques in New Zealand that killed at least 49 people.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have all offered their sympathies on Friday March 15th over the attack.

Saudi Arabia said one of its citizens was lightly wounded in the attack, but survived.

Dubai's ruler, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted his condolences, noting that "on a day of peace like Friday and at a place of worship like the mosque, we witnessed the most heinous crime of religious hatred."

Egypt's grand imam of the famed Al-Azhar mosque and university, also condemned the massacre, describing it as a "horrific terrorist attack."

"This horrific terrorist attack is a serious indicator of the consequences of rising rhetoric of hatred and xenophobia and the spread of Islamophobia in countries known for the coexistence of their inhabitants," AFP quoted Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb as saying.