'Heinous attack': World leaders condemn shooting of Slovak PM

AFP , Thursday 16 May 2024

World leaders reacted with shock and condemnation after Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds Wednesday in what officials said was an assassination attempt.

Robert Fico
File Photo: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. AFP


Russian President Vladimir Putin described the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico as a "heinous crime" and said he hoped Fico would recover quickly.

"I know Robert Fico to be a courageous and strong-spirited man. I very much hope that these qualities will help him to withstand this difficult situation," Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the "shocking attack carried out today against the prime minister of Slovakia," Guterres's "thoughts are with the prime minister and his loved ones at this difficult moment," spokesman Farhan Haq said.


"I wish him strength for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with Robert Fico, his loved ones, and the people of Slovakia," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.



"I am deeply shocked by the news of the cowardly attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, also calling for an end to "violence in European politics".



"I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country!," said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.



"I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico and his family," said EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen.


"We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighboring partner state's head of government. Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.



"I learned with deep shock the news of the cowardly attack," Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement that also stressed her government's "strongest condemnation of all forms of violence and attacks on the cardinal principles of democracy and freedom".


"I am shocked by the attempted assassination of Robert Fico, a great friend to me and Serbia. Dear friend, I pray for you and your health," said Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic.


US President Joe Biden condemned the shooting which left Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico with life-threatening injuries Wednesday as a "horrific act of violence."

Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden "are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia."


"Shocked by the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I strongly condemn this attack," French President Emmanuel Macron said on X, formerly Twitter. "My thoughts and solidarity are with him, his family, and the people of Slovakia."



"Egypt strongly condemns the treacherous assassination attempt targeting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico... Wishing him a speedy recovery, we affirm our full solidarity with the friendly Slovak Republic in this delicate situation," the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Abu Zeid said on his official account on X.


The Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement that it "condemns the assassination attempt against the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic" and "wishes (him) good health and a speedy recovery."


"Horrified and outraged at the attack on the Slovak Prime Minister. Spain stands with Robert Fico, his family, and the Slovak people at this extremely difficult time. Nothing can ever justify violence," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez posted on X.


"The attempt on the life of my Slovak colleague Robert Fico shocks me deeply. Just a few days ago we spoke on the phone and talked intensively about security issues. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery! Hatred and violence must not take hold in our democracies and must be fought with all determination!," said Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on X.

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