PARIS: World leaders today unanimously condemned the suspected terrorist attack in the heart of London by an attacker who was shot dead by armed police, with many saying they "stand" with Britain. At least three people were killed and 20 injured in the attack outside parliament when a man mowed down pedestrians with a car then stabbed a police officer outside parliament before being shot dead.
British Prime Minister Theresa May responded to the "appalling incident" by saying her thoughts "are with those killed and injured" and "with their families," her Downing Street office said in a statement. Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stood by Britain "firmly and resolutely". "Although the background to these acts are not yet clear, I reaffirm that Germany and its citizens stand firmly and resolutely alongside Britons in the struggle against all forms of terrorism," Merkel said in a statement.
"In these grave moments, we Germans feel very close to the British people," President Frank-Walter Steinmeier added. French President Francois Hollande sent a message of "solidarity" and "support" for Britons and May. "France, which has been hit so hard in recent times, knows what the British people are suffering today," Hollande said in a statement.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: "Solidarity with our British friends, horribly attacked, full support for the injured French students, their families and their friends." US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed his "condolences to the victims and their families" in a statement, adding: "The American people send their thoughts and prayers to the people of the United Kingdom." "We condemn these horrific acts of violence, and whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference," he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the victims of today's attack in London and their families. Canadians remain united with the people of the UK. " European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the attack left him "highly emotional". In Brussels to commemorate the one-year anniversary of attacks on the main airport and a metro station, Juncker said "the fact that exactly on the same day something similar happened in London, and to London, is really putting me in the situation of someone who does not have...enough words to express how I am deeply feeling."
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "My thoughts are with the victims of the Westminster attack. Europe stands firm with the UK against terror and ready to help". Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, expressed the country's "condolences" and said on Russian television: "We do not and will never support terrorism."
"We consider it an evil to which it is necessary to fight collectively. In this moment, as always, our hearts are with Britons and we share their pain". Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Dutch television he was shocked by the "horrific" news from London and said: "The city is in our hearts. We are following the situation closely, and are in contact with the British authorities." Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who observed a moment of silence at the start of a meeting with Social Democratic lawmakers, expressed his "condolences" and said: "Italy and the United Kingdom remain side-by-side in our condemnation and firm response to all forms of terrorism".
In a message addressed to Queen Elizabeth, Italian President Sergio Mattarella expressed his "deep sadness" and said that "the United Kingdom will be able to count on Italy's firm commitment" in the fight against terrorism. "Our condolences are with those who mourn and all who are affected in London," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted.
"Belgium stands with UK in fight against terror." Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called terrorism "a global catastrophe" on Turkish television, adding: "All countries should come together on the terror issue and fight together against" it. "We express our solidarity with the British people on today's indiscriminate attack," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted: "Spain stands with the British people. I condemn the attack in the vicinity of Westminster, London. Solidarity with the victims." Norwegian Prime minister Erna Solberg tweeted: "Terrible to see an attack in the heart of the British democracy. My thoughts with the victims."