Norway PM sheds tears for Paris victims
Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg on Saturday gave perhaps the most personal response of any world leader to the terror attacks in France, shedding tears as she informed the press, "I got married in Paris".
“My main reaction is grief,” she said. “I got married in Paris and it is a city I’ve spent a lot of time in.”
Solberg joined the long line of world leaders condemning the six coordinated attacks, which left at least 127 people dead on Friday night.
“Many innocent people have become the victims of these terrorists’ barbarous acts,” she said. “Our deepest compassion and sympathy goes to the victims in Paris and to all the French people. An ordinary Friday night was turned into a nightmare and a bloodbath.”
But she echoed the sentiments her predecessor Jens Stoltenberg expressed after Norway's 2011 terror attack, asking Norwegians not to react with fear and anger, but instead to strive to uphold democratic values of tolerance and the rule of law.
“I fully understand that this makes a deep impression on people. But we must always remember that the terrorists’ aim is to frighten us,” she said. “Then it is our job to not be intimidated. We must not let the terrorists set the agenda. Then they win.”
On Monday at 12pm, people across Norway are holding a minute's silence in remembrance of the victims of the attack, joining a Europe-wide vigil announced by the European Union.
"The Norwegian government ministries will participate in the commemoration by holding a minute's silence," Norwegian foreign minister Børge Brende said in a press release on Sunday night.
World leaders reacted swiftly to the attacks in Friday night and over the weekend.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen called the attack "a dark day in Europe".
“The extent of the attacks in Paris is incomprehensible and fills me with deep sorrow," he said.
Sweden's prime minister Stefan Löfven said that ISIS, which he described as an "abominable sect", must be fought.
US President Barack Obama pledged immediate assistance to French authorities, while condemning the latest tragedy on French soil.
”Once again we've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," he said, "This is an attack not just on Paris and not just on people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share."
A spokesperson for German president Angela Merkel said that she was 'deeply shocked' by the events of the evening, and offered her "sympathy and solidarity."
Norwegians over the weekend expressed their solidarity with Paris, with the leaders of the country’s political parties all coming to lay flowers outside the French embassy in Oslo, a vigil in Bergen drawing a crowd of hundreds on Sunday, and a mass held in remembrance of the attack's victims at Oslo Cathedral.