PRETORIA SENDS CONDOLENCES MESSAGES TO RUSSIA, GERMANY OVER ATTACKS

South African President Jacob Zuma has extended condolences to the governments and peoples of Russia and Germany following the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, and an apparent terrorist attack on a market in Berlin in which 10 people were killed.

The Russian diplomat was killed by a gunman at an art exhibition ceremony Monday in the Turkish capital of Ankara. The Russian Foreign Ministry declared the attack a terrorist act, while President Vladimir Putin said it was designed to spoil Russian-Turkish ties.

President Zuma said South Africa joins the international community in condemning this brutal attack against a diplomat. He said the assassination was in violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

We would like to convey our deepest condolences to President Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation, and in particular, to the family of the Ambassador Karlov. We also wish those injured in the attack, a speedy and full recovery, President Zuma said here Tuesday.

The president said terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

Any acts of terrorism are criminal, unjustifiable and cannot be condoned. To this end, South Africa wishes to reiterate its commitment to international initiatives aimed at fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, said President Zuma.

In the incident in Berlin on Monday evening, a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing at least 10 people and injuring nearly 50.

The South African Government condemns in the strongest terms terrorist attacks in any form and from whichever quarter. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased and we wish all the injured speedy recoveries, President Jacob Zuma said in his message.

Also on Monday, a gunman stormed into the prayer hall of a mosque in Zurich, Switzerland, and opened fire wounding three people before fleeing. President Zuma described the acts as cowardly.

Acts of violence and extremism have no place in society and constitute a threat to development, peace and security. We wish the injured a speedy recovery, he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK