Koenders: we are united in our revulsion at these attacks

Responding to today’s terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, foreign minister Bert Koenders said the international community was shocked, but in no sense weakened. ‘These attacks touch us all, whether we’re lying on the beach in Tunisia, worshipping at a mosque in Kuwait or working at a factory in France. More than ever, this demands a collective response,’ said Mr Koenders.

Mr Koenders called the attack in France earlier that day ‘sickening and ghastly’, arguing that we should not let ourselves to be intimidated by brutal violence. ‘The international community must continue to stand up for our freedom and democratic values,’ he said. ‘This is what we did after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, after the attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen and after the earlier attack in Tunisia this year.’

The minister expressed sadness that both France and Tunisia have suffered another attack so soon after the last ones. ‘Over the past few years these countries have clearly and consistently chosen the path of unity and dialogue over division and violence, and they deserve our support,’ Mr Koenders remarked.

The minister also offered his condolences to the wounded and the victims’ next of kin. ‘It’s terrible to think that these people had to give their lives for our freedom and our values,’ he said. ‘But let us ensure that the high price these people paid was not for nought. Let us all draw strength from this tragedy and continue our fight against these barbarous practices – locally, nationally and especially internationally.’