Assassination of Russian Ambassador, Zuma Vows to Fight Terrorism

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South Africa’s President, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma condemned the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, and charged that South Africa is committed to fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism.

Mr President on behalf of South Africa, extended condolences to the government and people of Russia following the assassination of Andrey Karlov – the Russian Ambassador to Turkey.

Andrey Karlov was killed by a gunman at an art exhibition ceremony on Monday in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

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The gunman, said to be an off-duty Turkish police officer attacked the Russian diplomat while he was delivering a speech.

Standing behind Karlov, he pulled out a gun, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired several shots at the Russian Ambassador screaming “don’t forget Aleppo.”

While the Russian Foreign Ministry declared the attack a terrorist act, President Vladimir Putin pointed out that it’s aim was to spoil Russian-Turkish ties.

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Commenting on the attack, President Zuma expressed that the assassination violated the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to…President Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation, and in particular, to the family of the Ambassador Karlov.

We also wish those injured in the attack, a speedy and full recovery, stated President Zuma.

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Thereafter, Mr Zuma acknowledged that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

With that, he said: “any acts of terrorism are criminal, unjustifiable and cannot be condoned.

“To this end, South Africa wishes to reiterate its commitment to international initiatives aimed at fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism,” added Mr President.