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World leaders condemn brutal assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the assassination of the ambassador was an act of terrorism

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. The murder of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov on Monday in Ankara has been condemned throughout the world. Condolences came from Europe and Asia, Africa and South America.

The tragedy occurred during the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition devoted to Russia in the Center for Contemporary Art in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Monday evening. Three Turkish nationals were wounded and the attacker - a 22-year-old former police officer - was killed by local security forces. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the assassination of the ambassador was an act of terrorism.

Balkan states outraged at envoy’s murder

The Russian diplomat’s cold-blooded assassination stirred up outrage throughout the Balkans. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev voiced serious concerns over another manifestation of terrorism in neighboring Turkey. "There are no legal reasons that could justify radicalism, or the murder of people and the democratic community should overwhelmingly denounce such attacks." Bulgaria’s Acting Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said his country "condemns this act of terror that cannot be justified."

Romania’s Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu said in a message to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that his country condemns this "disgusting attack against the ambassador." Greece’s Foreign Ministry called the attack on the diplomat "a barbaric act" aimed at "causing tensions and destabilizing the situation in the region.

Slovenia’s Foreign Ministry also condemned Karlov’s murder. The country’s Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez hoped that this attack won’t affect the Russian-Turkish relations. "Peace is very fragile now and any deterioration in relations may lead to a destabilization of the situation not only in the region but beyond its borders," the politician stressed.

Condemnation and fears in rest of Europe

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom wrote on her Twitter page that she was "deeply shocked" by the Russian ambassador’s murder. The former foreign minister and ex-prime minister Carl Bildt compared the attack to the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, which sparked World War I. He also voiced concerns that the diplomat’s murder could escalate tensions in the region.

Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende wrote on his Twitter page: "I condemn the murder of Russian ambassador to Turkey."

All of the Baltic states have denounced the attack. Estonia’s Foreign Ministry and top diplomats of Latvia and Lithuania posted statements on their Facebook pages condemning the killing.

Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz called the murder "an awful crime." Poland’s Foreign Ministry stressed that such attacks "cannot be justified."

The Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, denounced the "shocking killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey" and offered condolences to his family.

Spain’s authorities also condemned the murder. "There will never be a place for terrorism in a democratic society," Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wrote on his Twitter page.

Reaction throughout the world

Iraq has also expressed deep condolences and sympathy with the Russian people and authorities. "The Foreign Ministry of Iraq decisively condemns the murder of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara," the ministry’s official spokesman Ahmad Jamal said, according to the Al Sumaria TV channel. Syria and Egypt earlier made the similar statements.

Peru’s Foreign Ministry called on the international community to "double efforts in the decisive fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

The attack on the ambassador was also condemned in Southeast Asia. "There can be no justifications for such a vile act, especially committed against a diplomat," Singapore’s Foreign Ministry said.