World Leaders Respond To The Brussels Attacks With Calls For Unity & Condemnation
In the hours after the bombings in Belgium on Tuesday morning, leaders from countries around the world shared messages filled with empathy for the Belgian people, and concern for the safety of innocent people worldwide. The outpouring of world leaders' statements of solidarity with Belgium came mostly in the form of tweets. However, some leaders gave speeches as well. Many of these important figures stated that the bombings were not only an attack on Belgium, but an assault on Europe or even the world as a whole.
ISIS soon took responsibility for the attacks in Belgium, which led many leaders to also discuss the importance of fighting terrorism. As with the November 2015 attacks in Paris, the bombings in Belgium are trending on Twitter. However, this time around, a popular hashtag is #PrayForTheWorld — a call for world peace which many leaders echoed in their reactions.
The attacks took place at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels, Belgium between approximately 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. At least 34 people were killed in the bombings. What follows are responses from world leaders after the tragic attacks.
United States President Barack Obama
Obama responded to the attacks in Belgium while in Cuba. Obama's message condemned acts of terrorism, and highlighted the importance of unity in the aftermath of the tragedy:
We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible, and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.
French President Francois Hollande
Hollande responded to the Brussels attacks in a televised speech. He claimed that France is fighting a "cold-blooded war" against terrorism, and like President Obama, he called for unity in fighting ISIS. This comes just months after the Islamist group's attack in Paris.
He also tweeted a response in which he expressed his solidarity with Belgium, and claimed that the event was an attack against all of Europe.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canada's ever-so-popular prime minister tweeted about the attacks before issuing an official statement.
In his statement on Belgium, Trudeau called for the continuation of the fight against terrorism worldwide:
Canada stands by Belgium in this difficult time and has offered all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with our allies and the international community to help fight and prevent terrorism here and abroad, and to bring to justice those who are responsible for planning and carrying out these senseless acts.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel responded to the attacks in Brussels with a promise to aid the Belgian government in tracking down the attackers:
We will work in every way with ... the Belgian security services to find, identify and punish the perpetrators of today's crimes.
United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron
In a BBC News video, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the attacks in Belgium, stating:
These were attacks in Belgium. They could just as well be attacks in Britain, or in France, or in Germany.
Cameron also tweeted about bombings.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
The office of Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, tweeted a response to the Belgian attacks:
ABC News reported Pope Francis' reaction to the Brussels bombings, saying that he "condemns once again the blind violence that breeds so much suffering, and implores the gift of peace from God [for Belgians]."
Later on Tuesday, Pope Francis tweeted his prayers for the people of Belgium:
Clearly, much of the world is united and ready to fight terrorism in order to end violent acts like Tuesday's tragic attacks in Belgium.