Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

In world capitals, reaction to U.S. Embassy attack

moscow

not 'one word of sympathy' for U.s. leaders

Upon learning of the violent death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya on Wednesday, many Russians responded with variations on "I told you so." Russia has fumed over the United States' role in the Arab Spring for months, arguing that the West should not support popular uprisings against dictatorships in the Middle East lest Islamic fundamentalism take hold. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Margelov said that passions had been stoked by the uprisings and that they "splash out in the form of terrorist acts or massacres of nonbelievers or an attack on embassies and consulates." Yevgeny Y. Satanovsky, president of the Institute of the Middle East in Moscow, said U.S. leaders should not expect "one word of sympathy" from their Russian counterparts. "It is a tragedy to the family of the poor ambassador, but his blood is on the hands of Hillary Clinton personally and Barack Obama personally," Satanovsky said.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Karzai deplores anti-Muslim film

President Hamid Karzai condemned the U.S.-made anti-Islam film that has been backed by the Rev. Terry Jones, issuing a statement Wednesday that said his office "strongly and resolutely denounces this desecrating act and declares its serious abhorrence in the face of such an insult." The president's statement did not call for any action other than preventing the release of the film. It also did not explicitly appeal for calm, although it stressed that Jones, the creator of the film and their supporters "represent a small radical minority."

The Vatican

Holy See calls for respect for beliefs

The Vatican said respect for religious beliefs is "an essential precondition" for peaceful coexistence and urged against offending Muslims after the "tragic" attack against a U.S. consulate in Libya. "The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days," Holy See Press Office director Federico Lombardi said in a statement. "We see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence." The Vatican statement made no specific reference to U.S. casualties.

hAVANA, cUBA

A rare show of solidarity with U.S.

Cuba has condemned the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. The Foreign Ministry statement is a rare show of solidarity with the island's Cold War enemy to the north, particularly concerning a part of the world where their differences could not be greater. Cuban President Raul Castro and his brother, Fidel, were staunch allies of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi and deplored the NATO-supported uprising that toppled him. The Foreign Ministry's statement says violence against diplomats is not justified "anywhere, or under any circumstances."

london

Standing with its ally, sympathizing

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the "brutal and senseless" attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans including the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. "We send our condolences to the government and the people of the United States and stand with them in this," Hague said in Cairo.

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