World leaders condemn knife attack in France

They vow solidarity with France; EU leaders pledge to confront those seeking to spread hatred

European Union leaders pledged to confront "those that seek to incite and spread hatred".
European Union leaders pledged to confront "those that seek to incite and spread hatred".PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS • World leaders condemned yesterday's deadly stabbings in the French city of Nice and expressed solidarity with France.

Condemnation came from the Pope and European leaders, as well as from Turkey, which is involved in a heated diplomatic spat with Paris over cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.

"We strongly condemn the attack committed today inside the Notre-Dame church in Nice," a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said.

It also expressed solidarity with France, and offered condolences to the relatives of the three people killed in the attack.

European Union leaders pledged to confront "those that seek to incite and spread hatred".

"I condemn the odious and brutal attack that has just taken place in Nice, and I am with France with all my heart," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

"My thoughts are with the victims of this hateful act. All of Europe is in solidarity with France. We will remain united and determined in the face of barbarity and fanaticism."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "I am deeply shaken by the brutal murders in the church in Nice. My thoughts are with the relatives of those murdered and injured. Germany stands with France at this dif-ficult time."

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned what he called a "vile attack", and said it "will not shake the common front defending the values of freedom and peace".

He added: "Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: "We continue to defend freedom, our democratic values, peace and the security of our citizens. United against terror and hatred."

Pope Francis prayed for the victims, as the Vatican said that "terrorism and violence can never be accepted".

"Today's attack has sown death in a place of love and consolation. The Pope is aware of the situation and is close to the mourning Catholic community," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

The pontiff urged people in France to "unite to combat evil with good".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

  • SHOW OF SOLIDARITY

  • I condemn the odious and brutal attack that has just taken place in Nice, and I am with France with all my heart.

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON DER LEYEN

    I am deeply shaken by the brutal murders in the church in Nice. My thoughts are with the relatives of those murdered and injured. Germany stands with France at this difficult time.

    GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

    We strongly condemn the attack committed today inside the Notre-Dame church in Nice.

    TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2020, with the headline 'World leaders condemn knife attack in France'. Print Edition | Subscribe