World Europe 22 Mar 2016 'What we feared ...

'What we feared has happened,' says Belgian PM as world leaders condemn attacks

Published Mar 22, 2016, 3:41 pm IST
Updated Mar 22, 2016, 8:35 pm IST
French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting to review security in the country.
Two women wounded during the explosions at Brussels Airport in Brussels. (Photo: Georgian Public Broadcaster via AP)
 Two women wounded during the explosions at Brussels Airport in Brussels. (Photo: Georgian Public Broadcaster via AP)

Brussels: "What we feared has happened", said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, adding authorities are worried there will be more attacks after multiple explosions rocked Brussels airport and a metro station on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Michel said, "There are many dead, many injured from the attacks. We realize we face a tragic moment. We have to be calm and show solidarity."


Belgium's Royal Family stated that they were devastated by the blasts. "The King and Queen are devastated by the attacks. The emotional thoughts of the King and Queen go first to the victims and their families and the rescue services which are doing everything possible to help the victims."

Read: Terror attacks in Brussels airport, metro station leave 23 dead

Meanwhile, world leaders expressed shock and anger over the multiple blasts. European leaders were rattled by the attacks that came just a few days after reports emerged that recently captured Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was plotting to execute more acts of terror in the continent.


Here's how leaders across the world reacted to the attacks:

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks as he offered condolences to the family of the deceased.

"News from Brussels is disturbing. The attacks are condemnable. Condolences to families of the deceased. May those injured recover quickly," the Prime Minister tweeted.

United States: President Barack Obama pledged to "do whatever is necessary" to help Belgian authorities seek justice for the more than two dozen people who were killed Tuesday in explosions at the Brussels airport and the subway system.


"We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world," said US President Barack Obama.

United Kingdom: “I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels,” British Prime Minister David Cameron posted on Twitter shortly after the news broke.

“We will do everything we can to help,” he said and added that he will be holding a high-level meet to discuss the incidents.

France: French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting to review the security situation in the country.

"Terrorists struck Brussels but it was Europe that was targeted," said Hollande.

Hollande met with Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

France remains in a state of emergency after the November 13 attacks, which killed 130 people. Several attackers were also killed.

Sweden: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the blasts at Brussels airport and one of the city's metro stations as an attack against European democracy. "It is an attack against democratic Europe. We will never accept that terrorists attack our open societies," he said in a statement.


Russia: Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told Russian news agencies that authorities will re-evaluate security at Russian airports.

"It's time for Europe to understand where the genuine threat is coming from and join efforts with Russia," said prominent Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov.

The Netherlands: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, "Belgium has again been hit by cowardly and murderous attacks. Our hearts go out to the victims and next of kin. The Netherlands stands ready to help and support our southern neighbors in any possible way."
"Extra alertness is necessary, also in our country. We will take all necessary precautionary measures, said Rutte. He also called a meeting Tuesday of his government's Ministerial Crisis Committee to discuss the attacks.


The Dutch anti-terror authority said the country's threat level was unchanged at 'substantial.' It said extra security measures would be in place at the country's airports and borders.

Turkey: The attacks "have once again shown terrorism's global face," said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Germany: "Terrorists will never win," said Peter Altmaier, chief of staff for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Vatican: Pope Francis has condemned the "blind violence" of the Brussels attacks and has offered prayers for the victims, their families and emergency responders.


Francis' secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram of condolences Tuesday to the archbishop of Brussels, Mons. Jozef De Kesel.

In it, Francis said he "condemns once again the blind violence that breeds so much suffering and implores the gift of peace from God" for all Belgians.