Friday 24 November 2017

From Trump to Macron: international leaders reach out to the UK after night of terror

Armed Police officers on London Bridge as police are dealing with a
Armed Police officers on London Bridge as police are dealing with a "major incident" at London Bridge Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Newsdesk Newsdesk

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter amid the unfolding deadly drama in London on Saturday to offer U.S. help to Britain and to promote his controversial travel ban as an extra level of security for Americans.

British police rushed to two incidents in central London after a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge and reports emerged of multiple stabbings in the nearby Borough Market area. Police said the attacks had been declared terrorist incidents.

"Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!" Trump said in one of two tweets.

"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!" he said in the other.

Trump's appeal for his travel ban followed his emergency request that the Supreme Court reinstate the executive order that would bar people entering the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries. It has been blocked by lower courts.

Trump was briefed earlier about the London Bridge incident by his national security team, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who said on Twitter that security officials would continue providing the president with updates.

Trump takes to Twitter to offer help on London attack and tout need for travel ban

The State Department also said it was monitoring the situation in London closely, and advised American citizens in Britain to heed the advice of local authorities and maintain their security awareness.

The department said it "condemns the cowardly attacks targeting innocent civilians in London".

The president says the travel ban, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, is needed to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. Critics say his reasoning is flawed and assail the ban as discriminatory.

On Thursday, his legal team asked the high court to allow the March 6 executive order to take effect immediately despite being blocked by lower courts. The Supreme Court rarely grants emergency requests.

French president Emmanuel Macron also took to Twitter to issue a statement on the distressing events.

Translated to English his message reads:

"In the face of this tragedy, the France is more than ever at the side of the United Kingdom. My thoughts go to the victims and their loved ones."

Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop describes the attacks as a "shocking situation."

"We stand ready to support the British Government as it responds to these attacks and our thoughts are with those injured and their families," she said.

Meanwhile, Japan has issued a travel advisory warning its nationals to avoid places of what it calls potential targets in London, including sightseeing spots, department stores, markets, concert venues and political rallies, the Associated Press reports.

Ariana Grande has tweeted out a tribute to London, after the attacks. "Praying for London ♡," she wrote on Twitter. It is less than two weeks since a suicide bomber killed 22 and injured many more at one of Ms Grande's concerts in Manchester.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also offered the support of the Irish people to the people of London after the shocking attack.

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