India has issued a statement in support of Franceâs President Emmanuel Macron, who is under fire from Arab countries following his statements about the controversial display of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Indiaâs foreign affairs ministry said that it âstrongly deplores the personal attacks in unacceptable languageâ on Mr Macron and that they are âin violation of the most basic standards of international discourse.â
âWe also condemn the brutal terrorist attack that took the life of a French teacher in a gruesome manner that has shocked the world,â said the statement.
Earlier this month, French teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was killed by 18-year-old Abdoulakh A, who was later shot dead by the police. Paty was murdered because he showed his students the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were published in the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Acknowledging Indiaâs support, Franceâs ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain thanked the nation and tweeted: âFrance and India can always count on each other in the fight against terrorism.â
The Indian government offered condolences to Mr Patyâs family and âthe people of Franceâ while it emphasised that âthere is no justification for terrorism for any reason or under any circumstance.â
In 2015, following the publishing of cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, 12 people were killed in an attack on its Paris office. A few days after Mr Patyâs death, as a mark of tribute, his portrait and those caricatures were projected onto town halls in two cities, Montpellier and Toulouse, for several hours.
Mr Macron had said that his country will not give up cartoons â a move that has drawn widespread criticism from Arab countries including Morocco, which called it an act of provocation. Â
It was followed by public calls for a boycott of French products from stores in Arab nations, and images on social media showed many stores removing them, even as the French government urged against it.
Charlie Hebdo has itself published a cartoon mocking Turkeyâs President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had also sought a boycott of French products and questioned Mr Macronâs âmental healthâ. Turkey promised to take legal and diplomatic action.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also criticised Mr Macron, calling his defence of the cartoons âa stupid actâ.