World leaders react to ‘barbaric’ Paris attacks

TOBIAS SCHWARZ/ AFP | A German police officer arranges flowers brought by people behind a fence set up by the police outside French embassy in Berlin on November 14.
5 min

World leaders, senior religious figures and top officials have reacted to Friday’s attacks in and around Paris, which killed more than 129 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II.


US President Barack Obama
Obama called the attacks on Paris "outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians" and vowed to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said refused to speculate on the perpetrators of the attack.

He called the attacks an "attack on all of humanity" and a "heartbreaking situation."

Russian President Vladimir Putin
In a telegram to French President François Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attacks were "the latest testimonial to the barbaric essence of terrorism which throws down a challenge to human civilisation".

"It's obvious that an effective fight against this evil demands a real unity of the forces of the international community. I would like to confirm the readiness of Russia for the closest cooperation with our French partners in investigating the crime that took place in Paris.

United Nations
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "the despicable terrorist attacks" in Paris.

The UN Security Council also deplored "the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks", and underlined the need to bring the perpetrators of "these terrorist acts to justice".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel said she was "deeply shaken by the news and pictures from Paris".

The German leader issued a statement saying her thoughts were with the victims "of the apparent terrorist attack".

British Prime Minister David Cameron
The British prime minister said on Twitter: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to our French cousins in this dark and terrible time," Trudeau said.

He said Canada has offered "all of our help and support to the government of France".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Erdogan said that as a nation that has also endured terrorism Turkey shared the pain felt by France.

Erdogan, who is scheduled to host G20 leaders at a summit on Sunday, said the attacks were aimed at the two countries' "peace and security", and he called for unity against all terror groups.

Jordan's King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II "expressed strong condemnation and indignation at the cowardly terrorist act" and solidarity with the French people, in a statement published by state news agency, Petra.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying, "Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and with the people of France in our common battle against terrorism."

Egypt President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi
The Egyptian president issued a statement Saturday calling for "concerted international efforts" to combat "the scourge of terrorism, which aims to destabilise security and stability in various parts of the world, without distinction".

Gulf states
In the United Arab Emirates, the state-run WAM news agency said President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a telegram to Hollande offering his condolences and pledging support for France. WAM says Al Nahyan also called for the world to do "what it takes to face terrorism and eliminate it".

The ruler of Kuwait, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, offered his condolences to France, while stressing that "these criminal acts of terrorism ... run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values".

In Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official denouncing Friday's attack.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Rohani as saying Saturday that Iran "itself has been a victim of the scourge of terrorism" and the fight against terrorism must go on.

Rohani also cancelled his scheduled visits to France and Italy, which were due to begin in a few days. France was one of the world powers involved in recent negotiations regarding the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear programme.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Assad denounced the “savage act of terror” the likes of which "Syria has endured for over five years" and said the attacks were a result of French policy in Syria.

Head of Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque
The head of Sunni Islam's leading seat of learning, Cairo's Al-Azhar, decried the "hateful" terrorist attacks and urged global unity against extremism.

"The time has come for the world to unite to confront this monster," said Ahmed al-Tayyeb.

The Vatican
The Vatican deplored the terror attacks as "an attack on peace for all humanity".

Father Federico Lombardi, who is the director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a statement early Saturday that the violence requires "a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all of its forms".


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