Washington/London, Jul 14: Outraged by the Mumbai serial blasts, world leaders today described them as “despicable” and “unjustifiable” acts of terrorism and voiced confidence that India would meet this latest challenge with courage and determination.
Leaders from countries like the US, Russia, Australia, UK, France, Japan and China joined hands to strongly condemn yesterday's “horrific”, “senseless” and “brutal” attacks in India's financial hub that claimed 18 lives and left over 130 injured, and vowed to stand firmly with the country to combat the threat of terrorism.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that no cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate violence against civilians.
Strongly condemning the attacks, the 15-member UN Security Council said that any acts of terrorism are “criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.” In Washington, President Barack Obama condemned the “outrageous” Mumbai attacks and offered support to bring the perpetrators of the “terrible crimes to justice”. His Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that she would go ahead with her visit to New Delhi next week for the security dialogue, saying it is more important than ever to stand with India in the struggle against terrorism. Expressing “shock” at the blasts, China offered to work with India and others in international community to “jointly fight against terrorism in order to maintain the peace and stability of the region and the world as a whole.” In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Chinese government “expresses its sincere solicitude” to Indian government and those affected by the blasts. Describing terrorism as a common enemy of the international community, Hong called for addressing both the symptoms and root causes of it. “Terrorism cannot be linked to specific ethnic groups or religions.”
About concerns that the attacks may have been carried out by militant groups to disrupt the proposed talks between India and Pakistan, he said China supported Indo-Pak efforts to improve their relations.
“Both India and Pakistan are friendly neighbours of China, and also major countries of South India. The improvement of India and Pakistan relations will not only be conducive to peace and stability of South Asia, but also of great importance to the peace and stability of whole Asia.” In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague denounced as “deplorable acts of terrorism” the blasts in Mumbai, saying the UK is committed to working with the Indian government to combat the threat of terror in all forms. “The UK stands firmly with India in the face of such atrocities,” he said in a statement, adding a Foreign Office team was in Mumbai to support any British nationals there. A statement by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said he condemned the attacks with utmost indignation. “As the city of Mumbai is again hit by a series of terrorist attacks, the President of the Republic firmly condemns the cowardly and blind violence and wants to express France's full solidarity with India's authorities in these painful hours,” the statement said.
“More than ever France is standing by India in its fight against the scourge of terrorism,” it said. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe described the attacks as “barbaric” and said they evoked “horror and indignation”. In Islamabad, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the blasts and expressed “distress” on the loss of lives and injuries. Japan expressed “shock and outrage” at the casualties caused by the terror attacks.
“Japan firmly condemns such acts of terrorism as inexcusable. Japan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and strongly reiterates that no act of terrorism can be justified,” the Press Secretary in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Tokyo “hopes that the people of India will quickly overcome this ordeal, and intends to continue cooperating with the international community to combat terrorism.” Condemning the deadly terrorist attacks, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, “Mumbai is a brave city that has already known great sorrow at the hands of terrorists, including in the 2008 attacks in which two Australians lost their lives.”
“Australia stands with Mumbai and the people of India today. We know their strength and are confident they will meet this latest challenge with courage and determination to stand against such senseless acts of violence,” she said. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said separately that Australia condemns absolutely this horrific terrorist attack. “Wanton acts of terrorism have no place in the civilised world,” he said, adding Australia was confident Indian authorities would track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice. “Australia stands in solidarity with India at this most traumatic time,” he added.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, condemned the “heinous” blasts.
Ashton was “horrified to hear that Mumbai has again been the target of a series of deadly bomb attacks... It is essential that the perpetrators these evil attacks are brought to justice,” her spokesperson said. PTI