EU leaders express condolences to Britain over Manchester suicide bombing attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-24 00:52:45|Editor: yan
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SOFIA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Top European officials expressed their condolences on Tuesday over the terror attack that took place overnight at the Manchester Arena at a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, killing at least 22 people and injuring 59.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent a message to his British counterpart Theresa May in which he described the attack as "execrable and savage."

"In these moments of deep commotion, the Spanish government and people share our solidarity and condolences for the victims, as well as our hopes for the quick recovery of the injured," read Rajoy's note.

Other Spanish political parties were also vocal in expressing their sympathies. Members of all parties held a minute's silence outside Spanish Congress and Senate buildings and outside of town halls all over Spain on Tuesday.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa spoke of his concern for the "barbaric" attack.

In a letter sent to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, he said "Europe is united in the combat against terrorism and the constant defense of the values of democracy, peace, and the respect for human rights."

In a message on Twitter, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said he was in "solidarity with the families and the victims of the attack in Manchester."

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to the Greater Manchester Police.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for speedy recovery to those injured, according to an e-mailed press statement issued by his office.

"We express our solidarity with the British people," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted, condemning the attack.

Opposition parties in Greece also issued similar statements expressing support to British people.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said in a letter to the British monarch that it was "with deep sorrow, I received the news of the bloody terrorist act during a concert in Manchester Arena that took the lives of innocent people."

"There is no excuse for such actions," Bulgarian Parliamentary Speaker Dimitar Glavchev said, adding that once again the world had been shaken and shocked by a brutal act.

Meanwhile, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said in a letter to May that he wished the British authorities success in dealing with this difficult, monstrous act.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Twitter: "I most strongly condemn the Manchester attack. We stand with our UK friends and our thoughts are with families and friends of the victims."

"Appalled by the terrible news about the explosion in Manchester that took so many innocent lives. Our thoughts are with all those affected," read the tweet by the Slovenian foreign ministry.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser also condemned the terrorist attack as "brutal act of terrorism."

While expressing condolences to families of the victims, the minister also called for joint fight against terrorism.

"The fight against terrorism must above all be decisive, effective and based on international cooperation," said the minister.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recommends the Estonian citizens in Manchester to avoid the area and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

The attack is the biggest in Britain since 2005 London bombings, which killed more than 50 people.

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Denis Zvizdic sent a telegram to May over the explosion in the northern English city.

"I am appalled by this horrific attack which took lives of innocent citizens. Today, more than ever, we must join forces and confront the evil of terror which is shaking the world," Zvizdic said.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska sent a telegram to Queen Elizabeth saying: "The tragic piece of news of the Manchester bombing...has evoked deep outrage and sadness in me. The attack against young people and children is an immensely cowardly and shameful deed."

Meanwhile, Slovak Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko had been visiting Manchester only a few hours before it was hit by the blast on Monday night. Danko and his sons had been attending a sporting event there.

"I'm experiencing this horrible act even more, as I was there with my sons only a few hours before. The act that has happened, and is constantly happening around us, is totally incomprehensible and sad," stressed Danko.

The Slovak foreign and European affairs ministry stated on Tuesday that it had no information that any Slovaks were among the dead or injured.