Pretoria: South Africa and the Netherlands have added their voices to the international community in condemning the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris.
Briefing the media at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte called for countries to work together. Prime Minister Rutte is on an official visit to South Africa.
About 132 people died on Friday in simultaneous shootings and explosions at restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the national stadium in Paris.
A total of 1 500 military officers have been deployed in Paris to ensure the safety of public places mainly in the capital, according to government officials.
President Zuma said following the senseless attacks in Paris, global security was in sharp focus.
“We returned this morning from the successful G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey where the attacks drew condemnation from all world leaders. We remain firm in our condemnation of all forms of terrorism,” said President Zuma.
He said the attacks in Paris, Turkey, Lebanon and the ongoing terror attacks in parts of Nigeria and Kenya were a reminder that the scourge of terrorism requires urgent attention, with an emphasis on dealing with the root causes.
“It is our strong belief that the interference by outside parties in some countries and the pursuit of the regime change doctrine has perpetuated a cycle of conflict and instability in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East.
“The preference for military action instead of political solutions becomes a breeding ground for violent extremism and terrorism,” said President Zuma.
He said the United Nations must be at the centre of collective global action against terrorism, working with regional organisations.
“The international community must also redouble its efforts particularly in the quest for genuine peace in the Middle East.
“It will be difficult to find lasting peace without resolving longstanding issues in the Middle East such as the Palestinian question,” said President Zuma.
He reiterated that terror attacks should not be used to label refugees as terrorists as that would have negative consequences.
Prime Minister Rutte said Netherlands shared the same sentiments.
“I believe the attacks in Paris highlight the importance of countries working together in a fight against terrorism. Terrorism knows no boundaries, so our countries must work together to stop it,” said the Prime Minister.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS