Countries all over the world are releasing official reactions to the U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of four American diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
While most western countries have denounced the attack, this reaction has not been unanimously shared around the world. A number of Muslim countries, joined by the Vatican, have highlighted the original provocation for the protests in Libya and Egypt. That is, the targeting of Muslims and the Islamic faith in the movie “Innocence of Muslims.”
President Obama reacted by saying, “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers.”
Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron stood behind his country’s closest ally and condemned the “senseless attack that ended the lives of people who had worked selflessly alongside Libyans during their darkest days.” He exhorted the Libyan authorities to bring the attackers to justice and offered British assistance to pursue this goal.
French President Francois Hollande, successor of Nicolas Sarkozy, released a statement on behalf of the French government. Sarkozy was deeply involved in the support of the rebels during Libya’s revolution. President Hollande stated, “France demands that the Libyan authorities shed all possible light on these odious and unacceptable crimes, identify the culprits and bring them to justice.”
The United Nation’s Security Counsel condemned the attacks, calling them “unjustifiable, regardless of motivation.”
The Chinese Ambassador, Li Baodong, cautiously noted that the surrounding circumstances of the attacks are “complicated,” while Russia reaffirmed its commitment to respect the rules of diplomacy by stating that any attacks against foreign diplomatic posts constitute a terrorist act that cannot be justified.
Mohammed Magarief, president of the Libyan National Assembly, apologized to “the United States of America and to the American people and to the whole world for what happened, and at the same time we expect the rest of the world to help us face these cowardly criminal acts.” However, Libya’s deputy ambassador in the UN, Ibrahim Dabashi, added, “We have to state the reality that the authority of the government is still not covering the whole territory of Libya.”
The government of Pakistan condemned the Benghazi attacks, but also took the opportunity to “strongly condemn the airing of a defamatory video clip in the US, maligning the revered and pious personality of Prophet Mohammad.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry stated, “the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns insults to Islamic sanctities and sympathizes with the hurt feelings of the Islamic Umma (community).”
The Vatican also joined the critics of the movie through its Press Office Director, Fr. Lombardi’s statement. “The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence.” On twitter, he reminded his followers:
Fr. Lombardi on Libya: Respect for religion essential to peace §RV http://t.co/yQQWGtjx
— Vatican – news (@news_va_en) September 12, 2012
Israel issued its condolences to the American people and distanced itself from the movie director, reportedly a citizen of both the U.S. and Israel. Spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, said that the film “has nothing to do whatsoever with Israel.”
The reactions to the embassy attacks in Libya and Egypt vary within the international community. These responses will be updated as more information become available.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
I find it interesting that in the majority of articles about the protests (now in their 4th day), there has been little to no journalism on people's reasons for protesting -- no one has been talking to protestors, aside from comments on the danger in the neighborhoods where this is happening. It is all assumed to be from the video, which is very well likely, but as Carol was noting, there is little to no mention of other potential circumstances. I think it's important to examine our foreign policy as a whole, analyzing and bringing to light all potential triggers of poor relations abroad. Walking the fine line of sensitivity, strength and defensiveness isn't easy but a greater awareness of context may help.
I don't care who made the movie! There is absolutely no excuse for what they did! Christians don't attack and kill everyone who offends God! Besides, didn't you hear, even the liberal media knows that blaming it on a movie was only an excuse in order to carry out coordinated attacks to commemorate the 9-11 attack on America! Muslims kill Christians around the world EVERY DAY!!! It is their DUTY to kill infidels and guess what... if you are not Muslim, you are an infidel!
and his party Defends his disrespect as they justified the defiling of the holy shrine in the Middle East. The GOP/Republican party arrogance and disdain for decency and America is fully on display for all American and the world to witness.
Foreign press is giving accurate information minus political slants. I am not disappointed or biased about any foreign reaction given the nastiness and unprofessionalism of candidate Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan. We cannot expect respect from others when the primary candidate for President displays unbelievable disrespect for our American fallen.
The youtube video is an excuse to attack. Our air units took out the #2 leader of the Al Qaeda in Yemmen on Tuesday. Funny how no one mentions that bit of information.
I find beyond the PICS that have come out of the murdering of the ambassador the lack or mis of information being given to us. As this was happening Ingagist a French media was receiving tweets and pics. It is very very disturbing and the tweets are horrible. if the Intell knew that on Sept 4 there was going to be issues I wouldlikesomeome to explain to me why we're not all hot areas covered with military personel?
The Israeli American developer who produced the movie "Innocent Muslims" is directly responsible for the death of the four Americans. I would not be surprised that a bounty has been placed on the producer of the film by Islamic extremists.
Thanks for the informative article. The international community reaction to this, I think, is just as important as the POTUS candidates' reactions. The problem will be trying to get cooperation from an essentially non-autonomous state. Obviously American involvement in the Arab countries is going to have huge implications and this is a defining moment for the candidates. I'm anxious to see what happens next.
Very interesting ... the need to really understand our foreign policy is so under-appreciated this presidential election.