Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement at the Federal Foreign Office on the evening of 18 March:
It is with utter disbelief that we hear the news from Tunis today. Taking hostage and murdering peaceful museum guests, Tunisian and foreign visitors alike, is a cowardly attack on us all and an abhorrent violation of all values of humanity.
We are both shocked and appalled. Like many Germans, I visited the wonderful Bardo Museum in Tunis only recently, when I held political talks nearby.
We cannot yet rule out the possibility that German nationals were amongst the victims, we do not yet have any certain facts in this regard. Our Embassy in Tunis is working with the Tunisian authorities to clarify this as quickly as possible.
My thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the victims and with the Tunisian people; this is not the first time they have suffered terrible violence inflicted by terrorists.
Whoever the attackers are, if their aim was to knock young Tunisian democracy off course then I am firmly convinced that they will not and must not succeed. The instigators of the attack must also be found and brought to justice.
We will gladly help in any way possible and will be committed in our support.
Germany stands at Tunisia’s side and will continue to do all it can to support the country on its further path to a democratic future.