World rallies behind India in anti-terror fight (Roundup, combining different series)November 27th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Underlining their solidarity with India in the wake of deadly terror strikes in Mumbai, leaders across the world spared no words in denouncing the “despicable” attacks that have killed over 100 people and offered their cooperation in the common fight against terrorism. The US was among the first few countries to condemn the attacks, saying it was ready to support the Indian authorities in dealing with the situation.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday afternoon rang up External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and stressed her country’s full support and cooperation to India in the “common fight” against terrorism.
“Rice expressed full support of the US government to India in this common fight against terrorism,” official sources told IANS.
The foreign ministers of Australia, Israel, Canada and Oman, as also the secretary General of the Arab League also telephoned Mukherjee to express solidarity with India.
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso wrote a letter to Manmohan Singh expressing his shock and horror at the blasts in Mumbai. “We are resolved to continue our cooperation with the government of India in the fight against terrorism,” a statement added.
In Washington, White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement late Wednesday: “President Bush offers his condolences to the Indian people and the families of the innocent civilians killed and injured in the attacks in Mumbai, India”.
US president-elect Barack Obama joined the American government in strongly condemning Wednesday’s attacks and asked Washington to work with India to root out and destroy terrorist networks worldwide.
“President-elect Obama strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” Brooke Anderson, his spokesperson on national security, said in statement. “We stand with the people of India,” she added.
Obama also telephoned Rice and Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen for an update on the nature of the Mumbai attacks.
Condemning the series of attacks, the State Department said the US stands ready to support the Indian authorities in dealing with the situation, while the White House said it was seeking more information.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely and stand ready to support the Indian authorities as they deal with this horrific series of attacks,” the State Department said in a statement.
The White House also denounced the attacks. “We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life. We continue to seek more information,” said Ben Chang, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
The Justice Department said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was monitoring the situation closely and was prepared to offer assistance if Indian authorities asked for it but said it had not yet received such a request.
At the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voicing his solidarity with India’s government and its people said, “Such violence is totally unacceptable.”
“The secretary-general reiterates his conviction that no cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians,” a statement by his spokesperson said Wednesday. He also called for the perpetrators of the attacks to be brought to justice.
In London, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the Mumbai attacks, saying Britain stands “solidly behind” India and offering all help to combat the terrorists.
Brown sent a message to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he said the “outrageous attacks” would be met with a “vigorous response.”
Brown also offered every possible protection to any British citizens who may be caught up in the attacks.
British Foreign Minister David Miliband joined in the condemnation, saying the attacks had claimed “many innocent victims” and were a reminder of the threat faced from “violent extremists”.
Leading politicians representing Britain’s large Indian-origin population strongly condemned the terrorist attacks, saying the two countries are even more determined to protect their vibrant and resilient democracies.
The 27-nation European Union (EU) was unstinting in its condemnation of the terror attack.
“Terrorism is never justified and is no means to achieve any goal. We stand by the Indian government in its fight against terrorism,” a statement from the EU said.
In a separate statement, the French government, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said that it had heard of the attacks with “horror and indignation” and “condemned them with the greatest rigour.”
Condemning terror attacks, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni said: “This is further painful evidence that the terrorist threat is the greatest challenge which Israel and the international community have to face.”
In Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the attacks as “murderous” and said Australia was ready to help India in every possible way.
“We stand ready to assist India in any way it needs right now. We are offering through the Australian Federal Police assistance with counter-terrorism, and forensics policing, to the Indian authorities, and any other assistance which may be of direct relevance at this time,” Rudd told Australian parliament Thursday.
In Islamabad, Pakistani leaders strongly condemned the attacks, calling for “strict measures” to counter the scourge.
President Asif Ali Zardari, while condemning the blasts and firing, called for strict measures to deal with terrorism. “President Zardari stressed the need for taking strict measures to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the region,” a brief message issued by the ministry of information said.
It said that Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
In their separate messages, Zardari and Gilani deplored the tragic incidents, with the prime minister urging “the need for concerted efforts to make the region a peaceful place to live”.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa “vehemently condemned” the terror attacks, calling for “concerted action” by all countries to eliminate terrorism.
“My government and I hasten to condemn most vehemently the brutal acts of terrorism that killed more than 100 persons and injured many more in Mumbai last night,” Rajapaksa said in a statement in Colombo.
In Abu Dhabi, WAM news agency quoted Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister of the Arab federation, as saying in a statement: “The UAE, while condemning this brutal and appalling crime, affirms its complete solidarity with the government of India and standing by its side in confronting and overcoming these criminal acts”.
In Manila, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said: “The entire Filipino nation and Filipinos around the world mourn with the families of those who died and were hurt because of the Mumbai attacks.”
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