International condemnations follow attack on Copts in Egypt's Minya

Ahram Online , Friday 26 May 2017

Ambulances and medics outside Maghagha Hospital in Minya Province, Egypt in this screen grab take on May 26, 2017. (Reuters)

Arab and western countries condemned on Friday an attack on Coptic Christians in Minya governorate in Egypt on Friday which killed 28 people and injured 25, according to the latest toll.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit condemned "in the strongest terms" the terrorist attack, expressing the league's "full solidarity" with Egypt against terrorism. 

"The Arab League stresses the necessity of joint cooperation against terrorism," Aboul-Gheit was quoted as saying in a statement from the pan-Arab organisation. 

Iraq's foreign ministry denounced the “heinous terrorist” attack in a statement, adding that Baghdad “stands by the Egyptian people and government against all extremist and terrorist groups.”

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail received a call from his Jordanian counterpart, Hany Mulki, who expressed his condolences to Egypt for the terrorist attack of Minya Friday, MENA reported.

The Jordanian premier stressed his government's support for all of Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts, stressing the importance of collaboration to end “this sinful phenomena.”

Tunisia's foreign ministy expressed condolences and wishes for the swift recovery of the victims, Al-Ahram's correspondent in Tunis reported, and expressed Tunisia's full solidarity with the Egyptian people, and support for the measures the Egyptian government takes in confronting terrorism.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also strongly condemned the attack; its secretary-general, Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said in a statement that "this terrorist act will only increase Egyptian unity and consolidation in fighting terrorism which violates the principles of Islam and all religions, and aims at terrorising innocent civilians," MENA reported.

Hezbollah has condemned the attack that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt saying it "is a new crime added to the criminal record of a murderers' gang," AP reported.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also condemned the attack, stressing the importance of international cooperation against terrorism.

Palestine and Lebanon also released statements strongly condemned the attack, expressing their condolences and solidarity with Cairo.  

A spokesman for Palestinian group Hamas called the shooting "an ugly crime," of which "the enemies of Egypt" are the only beneficiaries, AP reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement sending "condolences from the Israeli people to the Egyptian people and to President El-Sisi."

German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters in Berlin on Friday that Germany "condemns in the strongest possible terms these kinds of attacks on believers" and grieves with the victims and their relatives.

Schaefer also said Germany would cooperate with Egypt "to ensure that things like this don't happen again in future."

Russia denounced the attack, stressing its rejection and condemnation of all acts of terrorism.

“This heinous incident once again demonstrates the inhuman nature of international terrorists who have now resorted to any means to achieve their despicable goals of instilling fear and insecurity in the hearts of Egyptians," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Russia Today.

The statement stressed Russia's solidarity with the leadership and people of Egypt in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has also condemned “this cowardly and brutal act that has deeply saddened Egypt," state news agency MENA reported.

Le Drian stressed that France would stand side-by-side with Egypt in its war against terrorism.The American and British embassies in Cairo condemned the attack on Twitter,

The USA “condemns the depraved, horrific terrorist attack today against innocent civilians in Minya” read a statement released by the embassy.

“The United States continues to stand firmly with the Egyptian government and people to defeat terrorism,” the statement concluded.

The UK has also denounced the attacks.

“I despise & condemn the killing in Minya. May the terrorists fail in spreading hate. Strength & solidarity to all suffering & responding,” UK envoy to Cairo John Casson posted on Twitter. 

The Austrian prime minister, Christian Kern, has sent a letter of condolence to El-Sisi, affirming the embassy's offer of any help regarding treating the injured, MENA reported.

The United Nations’ Security Council also released a statement condemning the attack "in the strongest terms.”

The council expressed its "deepest sympathy" and condolences to the families of the victims and emphasised that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, AP reported.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed "that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security," the statement said.

The council members stood for a minute of silence at the beginning of their session on Friday to mark the attack.

The Royal Hashemite Court announced on Saturday that it would fly the country’s flag at half-mast in the main entrance to the palace until 6pm this evening in mourning for "the innocent victims who fell in the terrorist attack that targeted the buses carrying Egyptian Christians in Egypt's Minya governorate Friday", said the official website of the bureau.

The Hungarian foreign minister also expressed condemnation, condolences and solidarity with Egypt on Saturday, state news agency MENA reported.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, has condemned the attack, and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.

In a statement issued Saturday, Faki stressed his call for the international community to "renew its obligation to defeat terrorist and extremist groups," MENA reported.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias sent his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, a letter of condolence saying he was shocked deeply by the terrorist attack, adding that "Greece confirms that such horrible actions still unite Egypt in their efforts to fight terrorism, and to bring the ones involved in it to justice."

The Greek minister added that he trusts Egypt will stay a tolerant and multi religious society, "against criminal plans by terrorists," according to Egypt’s foreign ministry.

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa called President El-Sisi on Saturday and expressed his condemnation of the terrorist attack and his solidarity with Egypt facing terrorism.


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