Memorials held after terrorist attacks

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Prime Minister Erna Solberg was among those taking part on Tuesday in a joint memorial ceremony for victims of recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Pakistan, Turkey and Iraq.  The Easter attack against Christians in Lahore also led to a memorial at Pakistan’s Embassy in Oslo on Monday.

“Terror is an attack on ordinary people and innocent civilians,” Solberg said at Tuesday’s memorial held at the offices of the Norwegian Red Cross in Oslo. “But it is also an attack on our common democratic values. Therefore we cannot tolerate terrorism in any form.”

Terrorism can unite instead of split
Newspaper Aftenposten reported how Solberg stressed the importance of the attendance at the memorial of representatives from several embassies in Oslo. “It shows that the fight against terrorism has the potential to unite countries instead of splitting them,” Solberg said. Since terror extends over national borders, Solberg noted, it’s important for countries to cooperate.

Among those attending the memorial and speaking was Riffat Masood, the ambassador from Pakistan to Norway, which has a large Pakistani-Norwegian population. Belgian Ambassador Nancy Rossignol also took part along with ambassadors from Iraq, Turkey and the US.

Both Rossignol and Masood expressed gratitude for the support they’d received in Norway following the recent attacks in Brussels and Lahore, and for the strong condemnations of them from Norwegian officials including Solberg and Foreign Minister Børge Brende. He also attended a memorial outside the Embassy of Pakistan in Oslo on Monday before flying off to a series of “political conversations” this week with his counterparts in Sweden on Tuesday, Albania on Wednesday, the Netherlands on Thursday and Austria and Slovakia on Friday.

‘Standing together’
Pakistan’s ambassador also stressed how important it was to “stand together” against terrorism, with Masood claiming that “we will not rest” until the last terrorist was caught.

Sven Mollekleiv, president of the Norwegian Red Cross, also spoke at the memorial held on the first day back at work after Norway’s five-day Easter holiday weekend. Around 150 people took part, to light candles and, according to Mollekleiv, “show that humanity and human dignity are values” that must be preserved. Berglund