Canadian PM calls Indian mission, sends condolences to Manmohan (Second Lead, changing dateline)

November 28th, 2008 - 5:56 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 28 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday expressed his condolences for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks and offered India all assistance in dealing with the crisis. Harper called acting Indian High Commissioner Shashishekhar Gavai in Ottawa to condemn the “cowardly attacks” and express support for India in its fight against terrorism.

“The prime minister expressed his deepest condolences for the families of the victims and his concern about the terror attacks. He said he was shocked by the events and wanted his condolences to be conveyed to the Indian prime minister,” Gavai told IANS.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon also spoke to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee to express his condolences for the victims of the terror attack.

“This morning, I spoke to the Indian foreign minister and, on behalf of the people of Canada, relayed my sincere condolences for those injured and killed in these barbaric attacks,” Cannon said in a statement.

Saying Canada stood united with India to combat all forms of terrorism, the minister stressed these attacks have strengthened their resolve to work together for the mutual security and prosperity of their people.

“Again, Canada strongly condemns these despicable acts of violence, which targeted innocent civilians.”

Cannon said he had no information that any Canadian has been killed or injured the terror attack.

“I am now able to confirm that a number of Canadians are staying in hotels targeted by the attackers. However, our information does not confirm whether any Canadians are among the injured or killed, or among the hostages.

“All consulate staff have been accounted for, and are actively seeking to locate and assist Canadians in Mumbai. The consulate in Mumbai continues to closely monitor the situation,” the foreign minister said.

In the House of Commons, Deepak Obhrai, who is parliamentary secretary to Cannon, said: “On behalf of the government and people of Canada I stand today to condemn, in the strongest terms, the deplorable terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. The use of violence and terror against innocent civilians is appalling and must not be tolerated.

“We continue to work closely with Indian authorities to assist any Canadians who may be directly affected by these attacks,” Obhrai added.

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