World leaders condemn terrorist attack in Barcelona

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 4:58am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 6:09am

The United States swiftly condemned Thursday’s deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona and offered help to authorities in Spain.

President Donald Trump, who remained out of public view for a second straight day, denounced the attack in a statement on Twitter.

Trump is on a working holiday at his private golf club in New Jersey. He was being briefed on developments in Spain by his chief of staff, John Kelly, the White House said.

Spanish and world leaders on Thursday condemned the Barcelona van attack, expressing outrage and solidarity with the victims.

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

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.”

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

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.

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. My thoughts are with the people of Barcelona.”

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”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “My thoughts are with the victims of today’s terrible attack in Barcelona ... and the emergency services responding to this ongoing incident. The UK stands with Spain against terror.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the attack “barbaric”, adding: “London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the “civilised world” to unite against terrorism after the deadly van attack in Barcelona.

“Israel firmly condemns the terrorist attack in Barcelona,” he said. “This evening we have seen once again that terrorism strikes everywhere. The civilised world must unite to defeat it.”

It was a “cowardly attack against innocent people,” Dutch 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.”

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

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, a star with Spanish premier club Real Madrid, said he was “dismayed” by the attack and voiced “support and solidarity with the families and friends of the victims”.