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Obama leads chorus of world outrage over Paris attacks

3 min 49Approximate reading time

US President Barack Obama led a chorus of global condemnation of a wave of attacks in Paris on Friday that left at least 127 people dead, as nations pledged solidarity with France.

The coordinated killings reverberated around the world after the shootings by gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar", explosions and a hostage-taking at a popular concert venue in the French capital.

Countries such as the United States, Britain, Spain and India, which have experienced their own mass-casualty attacks, were among the first to voice their condemnation.

Herewith some of the highlights among reactions:

An attack on all of humanity

"It's an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.

"We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite are not just the values French people share, but we share.

"Those go far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening."

- Barack Obama

Whatever we can do

"We will do whatever we can to help."

- British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country was hit by a series of coordinated suicide bombings in 2005 in which 52 people were killed and hundreds wounded, describing the attacks as "horrifying and sickening".

A hugely cruel challenge

"All of this confirms that we are facing an unprecedented challenge, a hugely cruel challenge."

- Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, the foreign minister of Spain, where 191 people were killed in train bombings in 2004.

Anguishing and dreadful

"The news from Paris is anguishing & dreadful."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose country was hit by two major attacks in 2006 and 2008 that saw a total of 355 people killed.

Sadness and pain

"We share the sadness and the pain of the French people... Terrorist crimes are not and cannot be justified. The Paris tragedy requires of us all to unite in the fight against extremism, to bring a strong answer to terrorists' actions."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, whose country has been bombing the Islamic State group and other "terrorists" in Syria since late September. The United States and its allies have said Moscow is mainly targeting more moderate forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Common battle against terrorism

"Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and with the people of France in our common battle against terrorism."

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. France's Jewish community was among the targets of the last attacks Paris in January. Netanyahu told France's Jewish community -- the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world -- after the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket that they would be welcomed with open arms by Israel.

The consequences of terrorism

"As a country that knows very well the manner and consequences of terrorism, we understand perfectly the suffering that France is experiencing now."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, where twin bombings on a peace rally in Ankara last month killed 102 people.

Crimes against humanity

"I strongly condemn these crimes against humanity."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as Tehran announced he would postpone a scheduled trip to Paris.

Europe is with France

"In the process of following with pain and dread the events in Paris... Europe is with France and the French people."

- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Profoundly shocked

"Profoundly shocked by the news and images from Paris"

- Angela Merkel, the chancellor of neighboring Germany.

Words are not enough

"Shocked and appalled by new attacks in #Paris. Words are not enough."

- Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

A black Friday for France

"This is indeed a black Friday for France and for the world."

- Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia, where a lone gunman reportedly shouting Islamist slogans killed a man outside police headquarters in Sydney last month.

The work of the devil

"It is a global struggle for freedom against those who seek to suppress it and seek to assert some form of religious tyranny; a threat in the name of God but is truthfully the work of the devil."

- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, praising the French people for their response and describing France as "the home of freedom".

The French spirit will prevail

"This is a terrible assault on a beautiful city with warm, cheerful, hospitable people... We must not let the terrorists divide us or destroy our spirit. I know the French spirit will prevail."

- Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan of Singapore, which raised its alert level, one of the many foreign dignitaries due in Paris for global climate change talks starting at the end of this month.

Tragic times

"In these tragic times for the French people, I want... to condemn in the strongest ways this barbarous act."

- Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A common challenge

"Terrorism is a common challenge, which the whole (of) humanity is facing".

- Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei, who added that Beijing was "profoundly shocked".

Brutal, barbaric and cowardly

"These brutal, barbaric & coward attacks show that terrorists have no religion... Global efforts must eliminate terrorism."

- Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.


"The heinous terrorist attacks that took place yesterday... are in violation and contravention of all ethics, morals and religions."

- Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Enemies of all humanity

"The merciless killings of Paris citizens indicates that terrorists do not know borders. They're enemies of all humanity."

- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Brutal carnage

"I condemn this act of terror... this brutal carnage."

- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.

We must remain united

"We must remain united in the war against terrorism."

- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Horror and consternation

"It was with horror and consternation that I learnt of the odious attacks... including on a Cambodian restaurant."

- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Heightened security

"A time that demands heightened security from all of us."

- Spokeswoman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino's government, which is preparing to host the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on November 18-19.


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