‘We Should Not Lower Our Guard’: World Leaders React to Osama bin Laden’s Death

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The websites of different anglophone newspapers reporting on the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The news has broken and the statements are out. The world’s political leaders have quickly reacted to the death of the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden. NewsFeed has collected their words so you can see how they’ve (mainly) welcomed the historic events.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 defining moments of the post-9/11 era)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai:

“We hope that the terrorists’ activities will be stopped after Osama Bin Laden’s death which was his punishment. The war against terrorism is not in the houses of innocent Afghan civilians. The fight against terrorism is not in bombing children and women in Afghanistan. The war against terrorism should be carried out in his safe haven, sanctuary and his training camp, not in Afghanistan, and today this has been proved right.”

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard:

“We will continue our support for the counterterrorism efforts of the United States and our partners, and we will continue our efforts in Afghanistan to ensure that the country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorism.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“The news that Osama Bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world. 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. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair:

“My heartfelt gratitude to President Obama and to all of those who so brilliantly undertook and executed this operation. We should never forget 9/11 was also the worst ever terrorist attack against U.K. civilians, and our thoughts are with all those – American, British and from nations across the world – who lost their lives and with their loved ones who remain and who live with their loss.”

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of Osama bin Laden)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy:

“Osama Bin Laden was a promoter of the ideology of hatred and was the chief of a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of thousands of victims, especially in Muslim countries.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

“Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. Terror was brought to many countries on his direct orders and in his name, against men, women and children, Christians and Muslims. Osama Bin Laden claimed to be acting in the name of Islam, but in reality he made a mockery of the basic values of his and all other religions.”

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas administration in Gaza Strip:

“We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.”

Indian foreign ministry:

“The world must not let down its united effort to overcome terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood. The struggle must continue unabated.”

(More on TIME.com: See the evolution of Ground Zero)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Israel joins in the joy of the American people on this historic day in which Osama bin Laden was killed … This is a resounding victory for justice, freedom and for the joint values of all the countries that fight side by side determinedly against terror.”

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi:

“This is a great result for the United States but also for all democracies. I think that we should not lower our guard because this could provoke reactions in the world of terrorism.”

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan:

“We welcome this significant progress in counter-terrorism measures, and I pay respect to the efforts by the officials concerned, including those in the United States and Pakistan.”

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki:

“The killing of Osama has taken place nearly 13 years after the terrorist bombings in Nairobi that led to the death of over 200 people, in an act believed to have been masterminded by Osama. His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries.”

(More on TIME.com: See a bin Laden family photo album)


“This is a significant success for the security of NATO allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us. NATO made clear that it considered the September 11 attacks on the United States an attack against all allies. We remember the thousands of innocent lives lost to terrorist atrocities in so many of our nations, in Afghanistan, and around the world.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani:

“We will not allow our soil to be used against any other country for terrorism and therefore I think it’s a great victory, it’s a success and I congratulate the success of this operation.”

Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib:

“Getting rid of 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 Bin Laden and others in the world.”


“Russia was among the first countries to face the dangers inherent in global terrorism, and unfortunately knows what al-Qaeda is not from hearsay. Retribution will inevitably reach all terrorists.”

Spain’s ruling Socialist Party:

“The government considers the death of Osama Bin Laden … to be a decisive step in the fight against international terrorism. The government reiterates its commitment to co-operating with the United States and other nations in the fight against terrorism wherever it is developed or carried out.”

Turkish President Abdullah Gul:

“Terrorists and leaders of terrorists are captured alive or dead sooner or later. It should teach a lesson that the leader of the world’s most dangerous and sophisticated terrorist organization is captured this way.”

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi:

“Osama bin Laden, as we all know, had the very grave responsibility of spreading division and hatred amongst the people, causing the death of countless of people, and of instrumentalizing religion for this end.In front of the death of man, a Christian never rejoices but rather reflects on the grave responsibility of each one in front of God and men, and hopes and commits himself so that every moment not be an occasion for hatred to grow but for peace.”

Yemeni government official:

“A truly historic moment … We welcome the news … millions of people will sleep in peace tonight.

Embassy of the Republic of Yemen:

“The government of the Republic of Yemen welcomes the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the founding father of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. The successful operation, spearheaded by U.S. forces, marks a monumental milestone in the ongoing global war against terrorism.”

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of the crowd celebrating at Ground Zero)