World leaders and politicians respond to Prague mass shooting

Politicians from around the world have expressed deep condolences and sympathy following Czechia's deadly shooting. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.12.2023 20:33:00 (updated on 22.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

World leaders have reacted to this afternoon’s shooting at Charles University's Faculty of Arts in central Prague, which has left at least 15 dead and dozens injured. The incident has sparked an outpouring of condolences and solidarity from leaders and officials across Europe.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned the senseless violence, extending heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims. "Shocked by the senseless violence of the shooting that claimed several lives today in Prague," she stated on social media site X. "We stand and mourn with you."

President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola voiced deep sorrow at the tragedy unfolding at one of Europe's oldest universities. "We should leave no place for such violence in our societies," Metsola emphasized, underlining the need for concerted efforts to prevent such incidents in the future.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoed these sentiments, expressing regret and emphasizing that the victims were innocent individuals. 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was horrified by the news of the shooting at the university in Prague. "My thoughts go out to the victims and their relatives," Steinmeier said.

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová reached out to Czech President Petr Pavel, offering condolences and any necessary assistance. "I am incredibly sorry that such a tragedy occurred at our neighbors near Christmas," Caputova expressed today, highlighting the poignancy of the incident occurring during a time typically associated with peace and family.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock conveyed shock and condolences, with Baerbock emphasizing that the attack had struck the “heart of Europe.”

U.S. Ambassador to Czechia Bijan Sabet wrote on X: “Today's mass shooting in Prague breaks my heart. My deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We [the U.S.] are with you during this difficult time.”

“We regret every innocent life that has been violently cut short, we pray for the healing of those injured and we think of the families and loved ones of those whose lives have been affected by this terrible tragedy,” the Israeli Embassy in Prague wrote.

The sentiments of grief and support were echoed by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and several other European leaders. Each leader condemned the violence and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who met with Czech President Petr Pavel in Paris on Wednesday, wrote today on the X network that he received "with a strong emotion the news that Charles University in Prague was the target of a murderous shooting" and expressed solidarity with the victims and their loved ones.

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