World leaders pledge to stand with Austria against terror after Vienna attack

·3-min read

Leaders of governments, states and international bodies around the world reacted to a deadly shooting attack in Vienna on Monday evening with words of condemnation and unity against terrorism as well as condolences for the victims and for the people of Austria.

Leaders were quick to react to a shooting attack in the Austrian capital on Monday evening that had claimed at least four victims by midday on Tuesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has seen three Islamist attacks in recent weeks, pledged France’s support in response to what Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called a “repulsive terror attack”.

On Tuesday, Kurz appealed not to perceive the attack in terms of religion or cultural difference.

“This is not a fight between Christians and Muslims or between Austria and migrants,” read a tweet by Kurz. “This is a fight between those who belive in peace and those who want war.”

Pledges of unity around Europe

“Europe strongly condemns this cowardly act that violates live and our human values,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council, which groups the heads of European Union (EU) member states.

“We stand with Austria.”

“Europe stands in full solidarity with Austria. We are stronger than hatred and terror,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the executive body of the EU.

“We don’t know the full extent of the terror yet,” read a tweet from Germany’s foreign office. “Our thoughts are wilth the injured and victims at this difficult time.”

“The fight against these assassins and those who instigate them is our common struggle,” said a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German police said they had stepped up checks on the border with Austria.

“I am deeply shocked by the the terrible attacks in Vienna,” tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “The UK’s thoughts are with the people of Austria. We stand united with you against terror.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said there was “no room for hadred iand violence in our common European home.” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was “shocked by the horrific attacks in Vienna”.

“Europe stands united against terror,” Mitsotakis tweeted.

Reactions from rest of the world

Leaders outside of Europe also condemned the attack.

“Our prayers are with the people of Vienna after another vile act of terrorism in Europe,” tweeted United States President Donald Trump. “The US stands with Austria, France and all of Europe in the fight against terrorists, including radical Islamic terrorists.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin “strongly condemded the cruel and cynical crime which one again confirmed the inhuman nature of terrorism,” the Kremlin said.

“The regrettable act perpetrated in Vienna demonstrates once again that terrorism and extremism know no borders,” said a spokesperson of Iran’s foreign ministry. “Substituting reason and intelligence for hatred and provocation creates a vicious circle that fosters an atomosphere that fuels the spread of extremist and violent tendencies.”

“As a country that has been fighting against all sorts of terrorism for decades, Turkey stands in solidarity with the Austrian people,” read a statement from Turkey’s foreign ministry.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack in Central Vienna on Monday night,” said a foreign ministry spokesperson. “We extent our deepenst condolences and sysmpathies to families of victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terror attacks in Vienna.”

Kurz responded to a number of the tweets with words of thanks.

“This means a lot to us in these difficult times. Austria will nt be intimidated by such horrific acts of terror. Together we will defend our open societies and democratic values.”