Welcome

International response: Steinmeier and Foreign Minister Alfano of Italy at Breitscheidplatz Italy

22.12.2016 - Article

Foreign Minister Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Alfano were at Breitscheidplatz on Wednesday (21 December) to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack.

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

Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Alfano at Breitscheidplatz
Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Alfano at Breitscheidplatz© Gottschalk/photothek.net

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.


International response

Foreign Minister Alfano signing the book of condolences in the Gedächtniskirche
Foreign Minister Alfano signing the book of condolences in the Gedächtniskirche© Gottschalk/photothek.net

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

Berliners stick together – flowers and candles at the site of the attack
"Berliners stick together" – flowers and candles at the site of the attack© Gottschalk/photothek.net

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.

Related content

Keywords

Top of page