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From Biden To Putin: Global Leaders Condemn Shooting Attack On Slovak PM; Wish Him Speedy Recovery

07:54 AM May 16, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
from biden to putin  global leaders condemn shooting attack on slovak pm  wish him speedy recovery
From Biden To Putin: Global Leaders Condemn Shooting Attack On Slovak PM; Wish Him Speedy Recovery

Bratislava [Slovakia]: Reactions poured in from across the globe condemning the shooting attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and wishing for his speedy recovery, as he continues to undergo treatment with his condition being termed "extremely serious."

Robert Fico, who is a four-time Prime Minister of Slovakia, was wounded in a shooting incident on Wednesday (local time) in Handlova, reported the local newspaper, The Slovak Spectator.

The critically wounded prime minister is still undergoing surgery in the town of Banska Bystrica. The alleged shooter was arrested on-site and the area was evacuated.
The United States has condemned the attack. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken wished for PM Fico's speedy recovery.

"I am alarmed to hear reports of an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Jill and I are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia. We condemn this horrific act of violence. Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist," President Biden said in a statement.

"The United States condemns the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Fico. Our thoughts are with him, his family, and the Slovak people, and we wish him a full recovery," Blinken posted on X.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he was "shocked" to hear about the incident.
In a post on social media platform X, Sunak wrote, "Shocked to hear this awful news. All our thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the shooting of Slovak PM terming it a "monstrous crime."

"There can be no justification for this monstrous crime. I know Robert Fico as a courageous and strong-minded man. I very much hope that these qualities will help him to survive this difficult situation," Putin said. The Russian leader wished Fico "a speedy and full recovery".
Notably, Fico was considered a supporter of the Kremlin. He had previously blamed "Ukrainian Nazis and fascists" for provoking Vladimir Putin into launching the invasion, as per CNN.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also condemned the act of violence against Slovakia's head of state.

"The attack on Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico is appalling. We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighbouring partner state's head of government," Zelenskyy wrote on X.

French President Emmanuel Macron strongly condemned the attack and expressed solidarity

"Shocked by the shots that hit Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I strongly condemn this attack. My thoughts and solidarity go out to him, his family and the Slovak people," Macron said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz termed this a "cowardly attack" and said there should be no existence of violence in European politics.

"I am deeply shocked by the news of the cowardly attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico. Violence must not be existant in European politics. In these hours, my thoughts are with Robert Fico, his family and the citizens of Slovakia," Scholz stated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "strongly condemned" the attack and conveyed his best wishes.

"I strongly condemn the heinous assassination attempt against Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, and I wish a speedy recovery to Mr. Fico, who was injured in the attack. I convey my best wishes to the people and government of Slovakia on behalf of my country and nation," Erdogan said on X.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen condemned the "vile attack" and said there is no place for such acts of violence in the society.

"I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico and his family," she stated.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her "deep shock" at the "cowardly attack".
"I learned with deep shock the news of the cowardly attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. All my thoughts are with him, his family and the friendly Slovak people. Also on behalf of the Italian Government I wish to express the strongest condemnation of any form of violence and attack on the cardinal principles of democracy and freedom," she stated on X.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also wished for PM Fico's speedy recovery.
"Shocked and appalled by the shooting of Prime Minister Robert Fico. I wish him strength for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with Robert Fico, his loved ones, and the people of Slovakia," Stoltenberg said on X.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said nothing can justify violence adding that the whole of Spain stands with the Slovak PM.

"Horrified and outraged at the attack on the Slovak Prime Minister. Spain stands with Robert Fico, his family and the Slovak people at this extremely difficult time. Nothing can ever justify violence," Sanchez said on X.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wished for Fico's quick recovery. "I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country."
Meanwhile, Slovak Defence Minister, Robert Kalinak said that PM Fico is "still fighting for his life", as reported by CNN.

"The surgery has been going on for three-and-a-half hours. His medical state is really very complex," Kalinak added. "We are singularly focused on the health of Robert Fico. And we are hoping he will be strong enough to pull through."

Slovak Interior Minister, Matus Sutaj Estok said that the assassination attempt of PM Fico was "politically motivated," adding the information is based on "initial interviews with the suspect."

"The perpetrator shot five times. The prime minister is in a critical condition, still on the operating table. We will do everything we can to investigate this," Estok said at a news conference.

Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova said in a news conference that the attack on Slovak Prime Minister was "also an attack on democracy."

Maria Kolikova, an opposition member of Slovakia's parliament said the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico is "an attack on the internal security" of the country.

Al Jazeera reported citing local Slovak news media that the shooter - an unnamed 71-year-old man - was a former security guard at a shopping mall, an author of three collections of poetry, and a member of the Slovak Society of Writers.

The attacker's son said his father was the legal holder of a gun license. "I have absolutely no idea what my father intended, what he planned, what happened," news outlet Aktuality.sk quoted the shooter's son as saying.

Fico previously served as prime minister from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018. His third term in 2023 made him the longest-serving head of government in the history of Slovakia, a European Union and NATO member, according to Al Jazeera.

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