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News 18 Aug 17

Balkan Leaders Express Sympathy Over Barcelona Attack

Balkan leaders joined those of other countries in condemning the terrorist attacks in Spain on Thursday that left at least 14 people dead and expressing their condolences to the victims.

Filip Rudic
Aftermath of Barcelona terror attack. Photo: Beta/AP/Manu Fernandez

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said more international co-operation is needed to prevent terrorist attacks after suspected Islamists killed at least 14 people and injured over 100 in Barcelona in two separate attacks on Thursday.

"We of course feel very sad about any tragedy… but we should stop just extending each other condolences and work together to provide for security and safety for all of our people," the Croatian head of state told ABC News in Australia, where she is visiting the Australian Croatian community.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sent a letter to Spain's King Felipe in which he condemned the terrorist acts "on behalf of Serbian citizens and myself", expressed sorrow for the fatalities and wished "a swift recovery to the injured". Prime Minister Ana Brnabic meanwhile expressed condolences to her Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said on Twitter that he was shocked by the attack, writing: "Shocked by the disturbing attack in #Barcelona. Our thoughts are with families of victims. Terror won't prevail in #Spain or anywhere".

Albania’s Foreign Minister expressed support for Spain "in this difficult moment", along with condolences to the families of victims.

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva also expressed her condolences in a telegram to her Spanish counterpart, Alfonso Maria Dastis Quecedo, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia said.

"We are shocked by this manifestation of cruelty and aggression and we believe that the perpetrators of this act of violence must bear their responsibility," Zaharieva said, according to the Sofia Globe.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis posted a message on Twitter condemning the attack, in which three Romanian citizens were injured. "I strongly condemn the terrorist attack in #Barcelona. My condolences to the families of the victims. Solidarity with #Spain," he wrote.


Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that the condemnation of hatred and violence must be decisive and strong. "We express condolences to the families of the victims of this inhuman act of violence, as well as the countries from which they come, and we wish the wounded a quick recovery. We hope that the safety of the citizens of Barcelona as well as all the tourists who are there is already provided," Zaev said in a press release.

In Bosnia, Milorad Dodik, President of the Serb-led entity, Republika Srpska, condemned the attack and voiced support for the global fight against terrorism. The Vice President of Bosnia’s other entity, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milan Dunovic, called the terrorist acts cowardly and meaningless.

The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dusko Markovic, sent a telegram to Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy expressing condolences.

So-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in which van drivers deliberately mowed down pedestrians, echoing earlier such attacks in Nice and London. At least two dozen nationalities are represented among the dead and wounded. One Italian and one Belgian national are confirmed dead; Spanish authoriities have yet to release the identities of other known victims.

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