Foreign Minister Steinmeier and his new Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano visited Breitscheidplatz on Wednesday (21 December) to pay tribute to the victims of the attack.
First official visit overshadowed by the attack
This was Angelino Alfano’s first visit to Berlin since being appointed Foreign Minister of Italy – he travelled to Germany for talks with Foreign Minister Steinmeier just two days after the terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz.Steinmeier let it be known that they had departed from the planned programme. Originally the visit was to have focused on German-Italian relations and the future of the EU. But following Monday’s attack, the Ministers went together to Breitscheidplatz and laid flowers. Alfano signed the book of condolences in the Gedächtniskirche. Steinmeier had already signed the book the day before.
Steinmeier said, “It is incredibly comforting these days to know that we are not alone in our suffering, that we can count on our friends in Europe and around the world.” He went on to say that Italy, too, was flying its flags at half‑mast as a symbol of mourning – a gesture of solidarity that was greatly appreciated by Germany.
According to Steinmeier, he and Alfano were in agreement that free societies in which people can gather in public spaces and celebrate together had to be cherished. “We will not allow this way of life to be destroyed,” Steinmeier stated.
UN Security Council: terrorism is a threat to international peace
The United Nations Security Council issued a press statement on the attack expressing its deep sympathy and condolences. The members of the Security Council stressed that no act of terrorism can ever be justifiable. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and must be combated in accordance with UN Conventions and other legal obligations.