World leaders reacted to the London terror attack on Wednesday that killed four and left over 50 people injured when a 52-year-old man drove a car into pedestrians and stabbed police officers, killing one. The majority of world leaders reacted with overwhelming sympathy and good wishes for the British people, but some praised the attacks and called for more.
The terrorist attack claimed victims from at least 12 countries: Great Britain, France, Romania, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy, America, Greece, and Portugal had citizens who were injured or killed in the terrorist attack. The national diversity of the victims caused Britain’s Foreign Secretary to comment that “an attack on London is an attack on the world.”
U.K.’s Prime Minister Theresa May was visibly disturbed by the attack and made several appearances to comment on her country’s resilience and strength.
“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror.”
She also said, “Our values will prevail.”
The British monarchy also commented on the attack. Queen Elizabeth II thanked the police department, who took down the terrorist.
“I know I speak for everyone in expressing my enduring thanks and admiration for the members of the Metropolitan Police Service and all who work so selflessly to help and protect others.”
One unarmed police officer, Keith Palmer, was murdered in the attack.
Spain’s King Felipe VI expressed “deep sorrow… for a despicable act that violates the fundamental values that sustain our democracy and our societies.”
“Spain feels very close to the United Kingdom in this moment of pain.”
In June, the King and Queen of Spain are set to have their first official visit to England in over 30 years.
French President Francois Hollande offered his condolences to the British people and acknowledged the threat.
“We are all concerned with terrorism. France, which has been struck so hard lately, knows what the British people are suffering today.”
He was referring to the multiple terrorist attacks in France that have occurred in the past few years, including a disturbing coordinated attack last November.
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The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, also expressed sympathy for Britain and offered acknowledgement from a country and people that are often targeted by violent extremists.
“The citizens of Israel were among the first to face the challenge of vehicular ramming and stabbing attacks. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the citizens of Britain and the entire civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism.”
The phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” has been hotly debated in politics. Some, like Poland’s prime minister Beata Szydlo, saw the terrorist attack as an open opportunity to address concerns about the migrant crisis in Europe.
“I often hear in Europe, in the EU: Let’s not link the migration policy with terrorism, but it’s impossible not to link them.”
Poland’s government has refused to accept any of 6,200 migrants allocated to them under the controversial refugee resettlement program. The London terrorist was British-born and converted to Islam in prison.
Pope Francis is praying for “divine strength and peace” for the families of the injured and dead.
Several Muslim-majority countries expressed solidarity with Great Britain. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, described the attack as “a terrible crime that is incompatible with all values and principles of humanity.”
The Islamic State expressed no sympathy for Great Britain. While the majority of countries condemned the attacks, the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
“The attacker yesterday in front of the British parliament in London was a soldier of the Islamic State, executing the operation in response to calls to targeting citizens of coalition nations.”
[Featured Image by Matt Dunham/AP Images]