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The World's Reaction To 9/11

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Foreign dignitaries and world leaders were shocked and outraged by the bold and outrageous acts of the terrorists on September 11, 2001 and their total lack of regard for human life. Following are their reactions:

Canada Mourns and Pays Tribute Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
calls the attacks “a cowardly act of unspeakable violence . . . It is impossible to fully comprehend the evil that would have conjured up such a cowardly and depraved assault.”

Chrétien was one of the first world leaders to speak to President Bush. Fearing additional attacks, all planes in the sky on the morning of September 11, 2001 were ordered to land at the closest airports, and Canada became an emergency landing site for hundreds of international and domestic flights bound for the USA. For several hours the Canada-US border was closed.

East Jerusalem, Israel Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Americans:
“Our hearts are with you and we are ready to provide any assistance at any time." Israel declared Wednesday a day of mourning and set up a blood bank for the injured. "This is a war between good and evil and between humanity and the bloodthirsty," said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He added that the attacks would be "a turning point in the war against international terror.”

England - United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair made the following statement in response to terrorist attacks in the United States:
“The full horror of what has happened in the United States earlier today is now becoming clearer. It is hard even to contemplate the utter carnage and terror which has engulfed so many innocent people. We've offered President Bush and the American people our solidarity, our profound sympathy, and our prayers. But it is plain that citizens of many countries round the world, including Britain, will have been caught up in this terror.....

....As I said earlier, this mass terrorism is the new evil in our world. The people who perpetrate it have no regard whatever for the sanctity or value of human life, and we the democracies of the world, must come together to defeat it and eradicate it. This is not a battle between the United States of America and terrorism, but between the free and democratic world and terrorism. We, therefore, here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world.”

Germany German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said:
“This is not only an attack on the United States but an attack on the civilised world.”

Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin
holds a news conference and expresses deep sympathy to the American people, calling the incidents a "terrorist act, this terrible tragedy." Russian President Putin added, “the entire international community should unite in the struggle against terrorism . . . this is a blatant challenge to humanity.”

Italy Pope John Paul II from the Vatican on September 12, 2001
“I cannot begin this audience without expressing my profound sorrow at the terrorist attacks which yesterday brought death and destruction to America, causing thousands of victims and injuring countless people. To the President of the United States and to all American citizens I express my heartfelt sorrow. In the face of such unspeakable horror we cannot but be deeply disturbed. I add my voice to all the voices raised in these hours to express indignant condemnation, and I strongly reiterate that the ways of violence will never lead to genuine solutions to humanity's problems.

Rome, Italy Yesterday was a dark day in the history of humanity, a terrible affront to human dignity. After receiving the news, I followed with intense concern the developing situation, with heartfelt prayers to the Lord. How is it possible to commit acts of such savage cruelty? The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people. But faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ's word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it.

With deeply felt sympathy I address myself to the beloved people of the United States in this moment of distress and consternation, when the courage of so many men and women of good will is being sorely tested. In a special way I reach out to the families of the dead and the injured, and assure them of my spiritual closeness. I entrust to the mercy of the Most High the helpless victims of this tragedy, for whom I offered Mass this morning, invoking upon them eternal rest. May God give courage to the survivors; may he sustain the rescue-workers and the many volunteers who are presently making an enormous effort to cope with such an immense emergency. I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to join me in prayer for them. Let us beg the Lord that the spiral of hatred and violence will not prevail. May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Mercy, fill the hearts of all with wise thoughts and peaceful intentions.

Today, my heartfelt sympathy is with the American people, subjected yesterday to inhuman terrorist attacks which have taken the lives of thousands of innocent human beings and caused unspeakable sorrow in the hearts of all men and women of good will. Yesterday was indeed a dark day in our history, an appalling offence against peace, a terrible assault against human dignity.

I invite you all to join me in commending the victims of this shocking tragedy to Almighty God's eternal love. Let us implore his comfort upon the injured, the families involved, all who are doing their utmost to rescue survivors and help those affected. I ask God to grant the American people the strength and courage they need at this time of sorrow and trial. ”

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