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World leaders voice solidarity with Spain after terror attacks

Forensic policemen arrive in the cordoned off area on Las Ramblas in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 after a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 people and injuring over 80 © AFP / Josep LAGO

Barcelona, Spain, Aug 17 – As Spanish police on Friday continued to hunt for suspects of the twin terror attacks in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils, world leaders condemned the violence, expressing outrage and solidarity with the victims.

– Spain –

The Spanish royal family issued an unusually strongly-worded statement: “They are assassins, criminals who won’t terrorise us. All of Spain is Barcelona.”

FC Barcelona said it was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and the team’s talismanic striker Lionel Messi said separately that people must reject “any act of violence”.

“There are many more of us who want to live in a world in peace, without hate and where respect and tolerance are the basis of coexistence,” he added.

– United States –

President Donald Trump tweeted: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added: “Terrorists around the world should know — the United States and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

– Germany –

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi said that people must reject “any act of violence”. “There are many more of us who want to live in a world in peace, without hate and where respect and tolerance are the basis of coexistence,” he added. © AFP/File / Gabriel BOUYS

In a statement, the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were thinking of the victims of the “revolting attack” with “profound sadness”.

– Russia –

President Vladimir Putin called for the world to unite in an “uncompromising battle against the forces of terror”.

“We decisively condemn this cruel and cynical crime against civilians,” Putin wrote in a telegram of condolences to Spanish King Felipe VI.

– United Nations –

A spokesman said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “condemns today’s terrorist attack on Barcelona” and “hopes that those responsible for this heinous violence will be swiftly brought to justice.”

– European Union –

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I send my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, as well as to Prime Minister Rajoy and the people of Spain.”

Flags were flying at half mast in front of the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels on Friday, where a minute’s silence was also to be held at midday to remember the victims of the attack.

– France –

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President Emmanuel Macron voiced “France’s solidarity” with Spanish citizens following what he called “a tragic attack”.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “Parisians are at your side. Barcelona and Paris are cities that share love and tolerance. Our values are much stronger than this heinous and cowardly act of terrorism”.

In Paris, a mass is to be held in Notre Dame cathedral on Sunday evening dedicated to the victims, the archdiocese of the French capital announced.

– Britain –

In a message addressed to Spain’s King Felipe, Queen Elizabeth II said: “Prince Philip and I send our sincere condolences to Your Majesty, and the people of Spain,” adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and the people who are recovering in hospital.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “The UK stands with Spain against terror,” while London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the attack “barbaric”, adding: “London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.”

The Spanish flag was flying at half mast over Downing Street on Friday.

– The Netherlands –

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press statement about the attack in Barcelona in Berlin, on August 18, 2017 © AFP / Odd ANDERSEN

It was a “cowardly attack against innocent people,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement on his Facebook page, calling it a “black day at a place where many people around the world gathered.”

– Turkey –

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Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey strongly condemned the “heinous terrorist attack”.

– The Vatican –

Pope Francis’s spokesman said in a statement: “The Pope prays for the victims of this attack and wishes to express his closeness to all the Spanish people, especially the wounded and families of the victims.”

– China –

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent a letter of condolences to the King of Spain and the Spanish prime minister.

“China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism, supports efforts to combat terrorism and supports peace and stability, and would like to cooperate with Spain to enhance counter-terrorism operations,” the president said.

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