World leaders condemn 'despicable' Kabul airport attack

AFP , Thursday 26 Aug 2021

Here is a round-up of the reaction to the attack following the Taliban's power grab.

Wounded Afghan. AP
Wounded Afghans lie on a bed at a hospital after a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. AP
Deadly coordinated explosions on Thursday tore through crowds of people at Kabul airport hoping to board flights to safety, as countries raced to evacuate as many people as possible before an August 31 deadline.
Here is a round-up of the reaction to the attack following the Taliban's power grab.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attack as "barbaric", paying tribute to the "phenomenal effort" of those involved in the evacuation operation.
"We're going to continue with that operation, we're now coming towards the very end of it in any event," he said, adding that Britain would "keep going up until the last moment".
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added that personnel had continued to work even "under fire".
"We will not let the cowardly acts of terrorists stop us."
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned "with the utmost firmness the terrorist attacks".
In a statement, he expressed "his condolences to the families of the American and Afghan victims" and saluted "the heroism of those who are on the ground to carry out the evacuation operations", adding that "France will see them through to the end".
 Czech Republic
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said: "I strongly condemn the despicable terrorist attack in Kabul. I mourn the death of Afghans and members of the US military."
"Egypt's government and people send their condolences to all Afghan and US casualties who fell victim to gruesome terrorism. Egypt renews its solidarity in combatting all forms of terrorism, violence and extremism," Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the US troops and the Afghan people in Kabul, following the attacks that recently took place. I extend my condolences for the lives lost and pray for the rapid recovery of the injured. We stand with our American partners."
Italy "strongly condemns" the attacks, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Twitter.
"No Italian was harmed... I express my condolences to those who lost their lives and my solidarity with the wounded. Italy strongly condemns the attacks," he said.
The country's operation to evacuate Afghans and Italian nationals was continuing.
Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide blasted a "terrible act of cruelty" on Twitter.
"I strongly condemn the terrorist attack outside #Kabul airport. Innocent civilians trying to leave the country have become victims of this terrible act of cruelty."
 Saudi Arabia 
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry reiterated in a statement the "Kingdom's position rejecting such criminal acts, which are incompatible with all religious principles and moral and human values".
The ministry said it stood "with the Afghan people" and "offered the "kingdom's condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and the Afghan people".
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his government sent its "heartfelt solidarity" to those killed in the blasts.
"Spain strongly condemns the attack suffered today at the Kabul airport. Our heartfelt solidarity with the victims," he said in a tweet.
"The international community stands with the Afghan people, ensuring their rights and dignity. We are working to evacuate as many people as possible," he added.
Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde said on Twitter: "Our deepest condolences to the families of the US service members that were killed and wounded in today's terrorist attack at Kabul airport. We are grateful for all your efforts in making this historic evacuation operation possible."
Turkey's Foreign Ministry deplored a "heinous" attack which targeted the main gate of the airport.
"We have learned with great sorrow that many people died or were wounded as a result of the terrorist attacks that took place in Kabul today," it said.
"We condemn this heinous attack in the strongest terms, offer our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," it added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said allied forces should continue to evacuate as many vulnerable people as they can from Kabul despite what he branded a "horrific terrorist attack".
"Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible," he tweeted.
"Appalled that vulnerable people are being exposed to further suffering in Kabul. Civilians must be protected. @WHO is on the ground in #Afghanistan and ready to support health facilities to treat the wounded," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
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