Attack in Nice - Statement by the French Ambassador
New Delhi, 15 July 2016
Ladies and gentlemen,
At least 84 persons, including many children, were killed last night in Nice, in the South of France. 18 more people still are in a very critical condition. The number of casualties is unfortunately expected to grow during the day. So far, no Indian national has been identified among the casualties.
These innocent people have been crushed to death, massacred by a truck while they were peacefully watching fireworks, celebrating our national day with joy and cheer.
There is no doubt about the terrorist nature of this attack. The truck driver has been shot down. Investigations are still going on and you will forgive me if I cannot enter into more details.
We’re all shocked, deeply shocked. It’s a terrible day for my country, a terrible day of grief. My thoughts go out today to all the victims and their families.
This insane attack took place on our national day, Bastille day, a day that celebrates, all over France, the values and the messages inherited from the French Revolution: the values of democracy, freedom, tolerance and human rights.
What is obvious is that this attack was aimed not only at killing innocent people but also against these very values and principles that are also so deeply cherished right here in India, and all over the world.
We will resist. Last night, the President of the French Republic, President Hollande, announced a reinforcement of the security measures, all over France. He also had some words of utmost importance: we are horrified, but we must stand up and resist, as we did last year after the terrible attacks in Paris; our people will keep on defending France’s core values and way of life. We will not give them up. We are strong and will always be stronger than the fanatics who attack us.
I would also like to say how deeply touched I have been - how we all have been - at the embassy and in France, by the many messages of solidarity and friendship that have come from all over India this morning, from all parts of the civil society and from the Government of India. I am especially grateful to the warm messages of the Hon’ble President and Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
Over the last years, India, like France, was badly hit by such barbaric attacks. I still recall how shocked we were, all over my country, by the bloody attack in Mumbai in 2008. And I know how much your solidarity comes from the heart.
We share the same values, the same principles, and in a way the same challenges because we are both open and tolerant societies.
I know that more than ever, France and India stand together against this global threat. More than ever, we shall enhance our cooperation against those who would like to spread all over the world their message of death, of hate and fanaticism. India, like France, knows only too well that there is no possible compromise with terrorists.
Last night, right here at the Residence of France, we were celebrating with joy the strong and historical friendship between India and France. This morning, in such a moment of distress for my country, this friendship and solidarity is all the more appreciated and cherished.