|Smoke billows out from the windows of a
government building in Oslo
© AFP/SCANPIX Thomas Winje Oijord
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama offered condolences to Norway after deadly twin attacks Friday and urged countries around the world to step up cooperation to combat terror.
Speaking during a meeting with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, Obama called the attacks “a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring.”
“We have to work cooperatively together on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks,” the president said.
“Our hearts go out to them and we will provide any support we can to them,” said Obama, who earlier received a briefing on the attacks from his top anti-terrorism adviser John Brennan.
A blast tore through government buildings and a gunman opened fire at a youth meeting of the ruling party, leaving at least 17 people reported dead.
State Department spokeswoman Heide Bronke Fulton called the attacks “despicable” and said the embassy in Oslo has urged all US citizens to avoid the center of the Norwegian capital.
“The US has reached out to the Norwegian authorities to offer assistance, but there have been no specific requests from the Norwegians thus far,” Fulton told AFP.
New Zealand’s prime minister, in his meeting with Obama, also voiced his “sympathies and concerns” over the attacks in Norway.
“If it is an act of global terrorism, then I think that what it shows is no country, large or small, is immune from that risk,” Key said.
“And that’s why New Zealand plays its part in Afghanistan as we try and join others like the United States in making the world a safer place,” he said.
New Zealand has sent 70 elite special force troops and 140 reconstruction personnel to Afghanistan.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license