At least 28 people are dead after two explosions occurred in Brussels this morning — one at Zaventem Airport and at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on Tuesday morning. Leaders of European countries are rushing to respond to the terrorist attacks in Brussels. Here is what they have said so far:
British Prime Minister David Cameron has just talked to media about the attacks. He says that Britain has offered to help the Belgian security forces. Here’s what he said, the added emphasis is ours.
“I’ve just spoken to the Prime Minister of Belgium to give our sympathies and our condolences to the Belgium people and we absolutely stand with them at this very difficult time. These were attacks in Belgium, they could just as well be attacks in Britain or France or Germany or elsewhere in Europe and we need to stand together against these appalling terrorist and make sure they can never win.
I’ve also made sure that we’ve offered every possible support to the Belgian policing, security and intelligence forces at this time. I’ve chaired a meeting of COBRA here in London to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to enhance our own security and there will be increased police presence in ports, airports, underground stations and international railway stations as you’s expect. But these are difficult times, these are appalling terrorists, that we must stand together to do everything we can to stop them and to make sure that although they attack our way of life, they attack us because of who we are. We will never let them win.”
Before talking to the press Cameron chaired a meeting in the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA), with members of a crisis response committee.
I will be chairing a COBRA meeting on the events in Brussels later this morning.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 22, 2016
Here’s the only publically available picture of the Cabinet Office Briefing Room.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said that there is nothing to suggest that there is any immediate threat to London.
“We must show maximum possible solidarity with the people of Brussels and of Belgium. It looks as though there may be one UK casualty as I’m sure you’re aware – though the details on that are very sketchy at the moment. The most important thing to get across is that we know of no reason to think that there is any read across from what’s happened in Brussels to events here in this city. We have no intelligence to suggest that there is any immediate threat, but as a precaution and for the purposes of reassurance there has been a stepping up of the presence of police.”
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has held a press conference where he his first priority was to look after the victims of the attack.
“Two attacks have been carried out this morning, one in Zaventem, the other in the metro station Maelbeek… The first priority for us is the handling of victims, the evacuating of victims to hospitals.”
He said that his country would “have to cope with it [the attacks] by staying united.”
The French President Francois Hollande called an emergency meeting of senior government ministers in response to the Brussels attack.
The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has told French TV that “we are vigilant, mobilised and determined against terrorism.”
EN DIRECT #Bruxelles Valls: “Vigilants, mobilisés et déterminés face au terrorisme”
Valls also said “We are at war. Over the past few months in Europe we have endured several acts of war.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced on Facebook that the Dutch security council is meeting in response to the attack. “We will take all the precautions that are needed,” he wrote.
Angela Merkel’s spokesperson has tweeted that people need to unite against terrorists: “The revolting attacks in Brussels let us join in common cause: solidarity with victims and determination against terrorists.”
The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has tweeted that his heart and mind is on Brussels.
Con il cuore e con la mente a Bruxelles, Europa
— Matteo Renzi (@matteorenzi) March 22, 2016
The acting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has tweeted a response to the attack: “We continue with regret and concern about what happened at Brussels Airport. All our support and solidarity. Terrorism will not defeat us. Democrats in #EU unite and will always be above barbarism and unreason.”
Seguimos con pesar y preocupación lo ocurrido en el aeropuerto de Bruselas. Todo nuestro apoyo y solidaridad. MR
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) March 22, 2016
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