Arab and world reactions on the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces
Mixed reactions: Some hail it as the death that might spawn peace, while others fear the beginning of the end.
World leaders lauded the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a firefight with a team of US operatives, who raided the compound where he had been hiding, not from Pakistan’s capital in Pakistan.
President Barack Obama of the United States announced the killing of Mr. bin Laden in a televised speech from the White House late Sunday.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority said the killing of Mr. bin Laden was “good for the cause of peace.” “Getting rid of Mr. bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods—the violent methods—that were created and encouraged by Mr. bin Laden and others in the world,” PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said, according to Reuters.
Yemen welcomed the US operation that killed Mr. bin Laden, a Yemeni official said, expressing hope that more measures would further root out militancy.
“We welcome the operation that was completed, and we hope that targeted measures will be taken to end terrorism throughout the world,” the official told Reuters, asking not to be named.
By Abeer Tayel
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed the killing of Al-Qaeda mastermind, saying he was a threat to America and the world.
“We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel,” CAIR said in a statement, according to AFP.
“As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam,” the group said.
“In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al-Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide,” the group added.
Israeli leaders hailed the death of Al-Qaeda leader at the hands of US forces, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulating the United States on “a victory for justice.”
“The state of Israel joins together in the joy of the American people after the liquidation of Bin Laden,” said a statement from the premier’s office, according to Agence-France Presse.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates US President Barack Obama for this victory for justice, liberty and the common values of democratic nations which fought side by side against terrorism,” the statement said.
President Shimon Peres of Israel also welcomed the news, telling public radio the operation was “a great success, not only for the United States, but for the whole free world which now breathes more easily following the belated but deserved punishment inflicted on Bin Laden.”
However, some observers cautioned that the person identified as Osama bin Laden could have been a look-alike. But they also acknowledged that President Obama would scarcely have put the prestige of his office on the line had Mr. bin Laden’s body not been positively identified.
Pakistan said that the killing of Mr. bin Laden was a “major setback” to terrorist organizations around the world.
“Osama bin Laden’s death illustrates the resolve of the international community, including Pakistan, to fight and eliminate terrorism,” the foreign ministry said.
“It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world,” it added in a statement.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan called on Taliban guerrillas to learn a lesson from the death of Osama bin Laden and stop fighting against his US-backed administration.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France congratulated the United States for its “tenacity” in hunting down Mr. bin Laden and dubbed his death “a major event in the world struggle against terrorism.”
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that Al-Qaeda leader’s death at the hands of US forces is a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism.”
Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, meanwhile, hailed news Al-Qaeda leader's death, saying it would “bring great relief to people across the world.”
“It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror,” Mr. Cameron said in a statement.
“Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen—for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British,” the British Prime Minister said.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of Italy described Mr. bin Laden’s death as “a victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told President Obama that she was relieved about the killing of Mr. bin Laden, according to a statement released by her spokesman.
“With the commando operation against Osama bin Laden and his killing, US forces succeeded in making a decisive strike against Al-Qaeda,” Merkel's spokesman said in a statement.
Russia hailed the death of Al-Qaeda leader as a great success, adding that it was willing to step up its cooperation with the United States in the fight against terror.
Australia said it would continue its operations in Afghanistan following the death of Mr. bin Laden, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, according to Reuters.
“Whilst ِAl-Qaeda has been hurt today, Al-Qaeda is not finished. Our war against terrorism must continue,” Ms. Gillard told reporters. “We will continue the mission in Afghanistan.”
Kenya’s prime minister thanked the United States and Pakistan for the killing of Mr. bin Laden, describing the news as positive for the east African country struck by an Al-Qaeda attack more than a decade ago.
“Kenyans are happy and thank the US people, the Pakistani people and everybody else who managed to kill Osama,” Raila Odinga told Reuters.
“Mr. Osama’s death can only be positive for Kenya but we need to have a stable government in Somalia,” he said, referring to a four-year insurgency in neighboring Somalia where Al-Qaeda linked rebels are fighting to topple the government.
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