World leaders condemn deadly terror attack in Manchester, express solidarity with Britain

Concert goers wait to be picked up at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017.
Concert goers wait to be picked up at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017.PHOTO: AFP
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.PHOTO: LONDON NEWS PICTURES
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.PHOTO: LONDON NEWS PICTURES
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.
Wounded people on the Hunts Bank outside Victoria Station and the stairs leading to the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017.PHOTO: LONDON NEWS PICTURES

LONDON - World leaders have expressed solidarity with Britain and condemned the deadly terror attack at a pop concert in the city of Manchester that left 22 dead and 59 wounded on Monday (May 22) night.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was one of the first to express condolences in a message to Queen Elizabeth II, expressing deep sorrow for the innocent victims, the injured and their families. He said the Chinese people stood firmly with the country at this difficult time, reported The Guardian.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also quick to react. "Pained by the attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it," Mr Modi wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured." 

United States President Donald Trump extended his condolences, and said those behind the attack were “evil losers”.  Mr Trump, speaking after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the town of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, said the United States stands in “absolute solidarity”with the British people.

“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack, and to the many killed and the families, so many families of the victims,” Reuters reported Mr Trump as saying.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Britain in a condolence message to Prime Minister Theresa May over the “inhuman” attack in Manchester, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, reported Agence France-Presse.

“We firmly condemn this cynical, inhuman crime. We expect that those behind it will not escape the punishment they deserve,” Mr Putin said in a statement published by the Kremlin.

“The Russian head of state confirmed his readiness to bolster anti-terrorism cooperation with our British partners, both on a bilateral basis and in the framework of broader international efforts,” it added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: “The Israeli government strongly condemns the terrible terror attack last night in Manchester. 

“I send my condolences to the families of those murdered and wishes of swift recovery to the wounded. Terror is a global threat and the enlightened countries must act together to defeat it in any place."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians were "shocked by the news of the horrific attack", while EU president Donald Tusk wrote: "My heart is in Manchester this night." 

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "horrified" by the attack. "The President of the Republic will pursue with the government, and with British forces, the fight against terrorism," said a statement from Mr Macron's office. 

"Emmanuel Macron will hold a telephone call with Theresa May and will be kept informed in real time on developments in the inquiry," added the statement, which also expressed France's compassion and solidarity with Britain.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called on French citizens to exercise the utmost vigilance after the "abominable crime" in Manchester.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced “sorrow and horror”, adding: “This suspected terrorist attack will only strengthen our resolve to work with our British friends against those who plan and execute such inhuman acts. I assure the people in Britain: Germany stands by your side.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also condemned the attack and said Japan stood side-by-side with the British people. He said he was "deeply shocked" at "this appalling act of terrorism" targeting young people in a message to Mrs May.

"On behalf of the government of Japan and the Japanese people, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims and extend our sympathies to those who have been injured," he added, reported The Guardian.

New York authorities have stepped up security at sensitive sites after the deadly blast, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets, reported Reuters.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was ordering additional patrols at "high-profile locations" including airports and the subway "out of an abundance of caution" after the assault at the show by US pop star Ariana Grande.

"This apparent act of terrorism, targeting a concert attended by thousands of teenagers and young people, is an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings," Mr Cuomo said in a statement.

"An attack on one is an attack on all, and New York stands in solidarity with the British people and our friends around the world against the forces of hate and terror," he said.

Iran also condemned the attack, but in an apparent swipe at Western security cooperation with Gulf Arab states, it said “artificial alliances” would not eliminate such threats.

“Terrorism will be uprooted only by taking comprehensive measures, and avoiding double standards,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency Irna on Tuesday. “Artificial alliances would not stop the expansion of cancerous terrorism in the world.”

US President Donald Trump, who opened an anti-terrorism centre in Saudi Arabia during his tour in the region on Sunday, had accused Iran of being a key source of funding and support for militant groups in the Middle East.

Iran denies the claims and says Saudi Arabia is the real source of funding for Islamist militants, Reuters reported. 

 

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