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World Leaders Back Bali; Condemn Bombers

World Opinion Round Up. In Fast and Rapid Succession, World Leaders React Angrily to Most Recent Bali Bombing.

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Within hours of the bombing of two popular Bali dining venues, world leaders have joined in a growing chorus of strong condemnation for those behind tragedy that has claimed at least 25 lives and injured scores of others.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan - The Secretary General of the UN issued a statement on Saturday saying he was dismayed that Bali had become "the scene of terrorist outrage: just 3 years after a 2002 bomb attack that claimed 202 lives."

The Secretary-General strongly condemned the bombings and extended his "deepest sympathy to the injured and the bereaved of the many nationalities as well as the Indonesian government," urging the Indonesians to waste no time in "bringing the perpetrators of this cowardly act to justice."

Singapore - Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also condemned the Bali bombings and extended his sympathies to its victims.

In a show of solidarity with his nearest neighbors to the South, Prime Minister Lee announced he would go ahead with a scheduled meeting on Monday with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Mr Lee said: "We have to carry on with the retreat. I have been in touch with Yudhoyono's people, staff and they agree we have to continue. To change our plans and not to meet is really to concede. We will go and continue with the retreat and take the necessary precautions and I am looking forward to meeting the President."

United States - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially condemned the Bali attacks, saying, "The United States stands with the people and government of Indonesia as they work to bring to justice those responsible for these acts of terrorism."

"We will continue to work together in our common fight against terror, she added"

Great Britain - British Prime Minister called the Bali attacks "appalling" and renewed his government's pledge to support Indonesia's war on terrorism.

Mr. Blair went on to say: "The UK was deeply grateful for and moved by the support and sympathy given by the Indonesian government and people after the attacks in July in London. We stand by Indonesia at this very difficult time. I applaud the Indonesian government's determination to defeat the terrorists and I offer our full support to the people of Bali as they recover from another atrocity so soon after the 2002 attack . . . The British Government stands ready to help in any way we can."

France - Saying, "France in the strongest possible way condemns these hateful acts," French President Jacques Chirac told President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that news of the Bali bombings "stunned and saddened" him.

Germany - The German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, told Indonesia it can "count on German solidarity in the battle against international terrorism" and denounced "in the strongest possible terms the despicable attacks in Bali."

Japan - Japan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yoshinori Katori termed the Bali attacks an "unpardonable act of terrorism." Adding, "The government of Japan reiterates its firm condemnation of atrocious terrorism that victimizes many innocent people."

Australia - Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, says he is horrified by the attacks in Bali, terming them an "indiscriminate attempt to undermine democratic Indonesia." Howard said the attacks demonstrated the need for the anti-terror war to continue.

New Zealand - Offering whatever assistance Indonesia requires in the aftermath of the most recent bombings, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has told President Yudhoyono that the New Zealand government is appalled at "such cowardly and indiscriminate acts of violence in Bali."

Malaysia - Reacting to the growing belief that al-Qaeda linked terror group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) was behind the latest attack and that Malaysians Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top may have played a role in the blasts, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said, "these people may be Malaysian by citizenship but they are not with us . . .I hope they (Indonesians) are successful in investigating and catching these two men."

The Malaysian Foreign Minister added, "It is very sad. Bali is such a beautiful place."

Philippines - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also involved in a fight against Islamic rebels in her Country's South, said the attacks showed the resilience of the attackers to strike "when our guard is down." Adding, "we have limited the movements of terrorist cells and kept them on the run. But the price of freedom is perpetual vigilance."

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