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Christchurch attack: Queen, Royals, heads of state speak out

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Saturday, 16 March 2019, 10:38a.m.
The Queen is amongst those who have shared their thoughts. (Photo / NZ Herald)
The Queen is amongst those who have shared their thoughts. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Members of the British Royal Family and heads of state around the world have spoken out following the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 49 people in Christchurch.

Queen Elizabeth II was the first to issue messages of sympathy from the royal family, saying it was a tragedy for such a great nation.

"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.

"I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured.

"At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders."

Just an hour later Prince Charles released his sympathies, writing "this appalling atrocity is an insult on all of us who cherish freedom".

"Both my wife and I were utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people's lives. It is beyond all belief that so many should have been killed and injured at their place of worship and our most special and heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.

"This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. I know that the people of New Zealand will never allow hate and division to triumph over these things they hold dear.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heartbreaking of times."

Prince William, Prince Harry, The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex released a joint statement telling New Zealand, "Kia kaha" and saying no person should ever fear attending a place of worship.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch.

"We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.

"No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship.

"This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.

"We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.

"Kia Kaha."
Heads of state from around the world have also paid their respects to those who lost their lives in the deadly attack.

US President Barack Obama said he's grieving with the New Zealand Muslim community.

"Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms."

US President Donald Trump issued a statement saying the US stands by New Zealand and has offered to help in any way possible and the American people love New Zealand.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added: "We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people -- no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born -- can feel safe and secure."

And Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he asked for flags to be flown at half-mast and described New Zealand as Australia's "family."

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