JEDDAH: In his first comments since the strike against the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, US President Donald Trump said Qassem Soleimani “should have been taken out many years ago.” He said the targeted killing was ordered because Soleimani was “plotting to kill” many Americans.
The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash called for “wisdom and moderation” rather than “confrontation and escalation.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said it was following developments in Iraq with great concern and appealed against any further escalation.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged all parties to avoid any new escalation. In a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Macron said there should be no “new dangerous escalation of tensions” and “called on all the parties to act with restraint.”
Germany urged restraint and de-escalation. “We are at a dangerous point of escalation. It is now important through prudence and restraint to contribute to de-escalation,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer.
China said it is “highly concerned” and called for all sides, especially the US, to exercise “calm and restraint.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned.
“The secretary-general has consistently advocated for de-escalation in the Gulf. He is deeply concerned with the recent escalation,” said his spokesman, Farhan Haq. “This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf.”
Republican lawmakers quickly spoke out in strong support of Trump’s attack. “In a display of resolve and strength, we struck the leader of those attacking our sovereign US territories,” top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said.
“Wow — the price of killing and injuring Americans has just gone up drastically,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a close confidant of Trump, wrote on Twitter. Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley also praised the attack.
“Qassem Soleimani was an arch terrorist with American blood on his hands,” Haley said on Twitter. “His demise should be applauded by all who seek peace and justice. “Proud of President Trump for doing the strong and right thing.” Trump’s former adviser John Bolton praised the killing of Soleimani and “congratulated” those involved.
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(Except headline, this story has not been edited by MeriAwaz and is published from a syndicated feed.)