Palm Sunday’s bombings of two Coptic churches have drawn international condemnation, with leaders from around the world issuing statements condemning the attacks.
Pope Francis, who is due to visit Egypt on 28 and 29 April will not — as some media reports speculated — cancel his trip following the attacks.
“There is no doubt the Holy Father will go to Egypt,” Monsignor Angelo Becciu, the Holy See’s number three, said in an interview published in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. “What happened caused disorder and tremendous suffering but it cannot stop the Pope’s mission of peace.”
Hours after the attack Pope Francis issued a statement that condemned the terrorist attacks and announced his support for the Egyptian people to face such challenge.
He concluded his own Palm Sunday mass in St Peter’s Square saying: “I pray for the dead and the victims. May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death and even the hearts of those who produce and traffic in weapons.”
Deadly blasts at Tanta’s St George Church and Alexandria’s St Mark’s Cathedral, where Pope Tawadros II was leading the service, killed at least 45 and injured more than 100.
In Washington, President Donald Trump condemned the attacks saying that the US supports Egypt in its fight against terrorism.
“I have great confidence that President Al-Sisi will handle situation properly,” Trump tweeted.
TheUS Embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying “the United States stands firmly with the Egyptian government andpeople to defeat terrorism.”
Trump spoke with Al-Sisi over the phone and sent condolences to Egypt and to the families that lost members in the terrorist attacks. He also expressed confidence in the Egyptian government’s commitment to protect Christians, according to the White House.
French President François Hollande condemned the attacks, issuing a statement saying “one more time, Egypt is hit by terrorists who want to destroy its unity and its diversity.”
Hollande extended his condolences to the families of the victims and said, “France will mobilise all its forces in association with the Egyptian authorities in the fight against terrorism.”
“To everyone mourning injured and responding to the Palm Sunday attacks we share your grief. Britain stands with Egypt against hatred and terror,” tweeted the British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and strongly denounced the terrorist attack. He said that the terrorists aim not only to spread fear among people but to divide them.
Spain denounced the “two cowardly attacks”. The Spanish Foreign Ministry denounced “all forms of terrorism and hatred based on religion” and said it fully supports Egypt in its war on terrorism.
Al-Sisi also received a call from King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who expressed his condolences.
“We stand with Egypt against whoever threatens its people, or its national security. Terrorism has become the most imminent threat to regional security and we must unite behind a comprehensive strategy to defeat it,” King Salman told Al-Sisi.
King Abdullah II of Jordan and the Iraqi and Libyan prime ministries decried the attacks and offered condolences to the victims’ families.
In Beirut, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri extended his condolences to President Al-Sisi, Pope Tawadros II and the Egyptian people. On his Twitter account he said: “Terrorism has no religion but is a violation of the principles of all religions, starting with Islam”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the attack and stressed the Palestinian people’s support to the Egyptian people and army against terrorism.