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Shooting in Belgium: President shocked by a despicable and heinous act

Following the shooting which took place at a Jewish museum in Belgium yesterday, in which three people died, Anne Brasseur, PACE President, made the following statement: "I am deeply shocked by this despicable act which cost the lives of three people; a fourth person remains in a critical condition.

The Belgian authorities will need to establish whether this is the work of a demented person, or whether the motivation is anti-semitic. But the fact that it happened at a Jewish site makes me fear an anti-semitic act. We cannot allow anti-semitism to rise further in Europe. All European democratic Parties have the duty to join forces, putting aside their ideological differences, to resolutely fight against all instances of racial or religious hatred, including anti-semitism. Extremism has no place in Europe.

At this tragic time, and on behalf of PACE, I would like to convey sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. I also express full support for the Belgian authorities in their efforts to ensure that anyone involved in these heinous acts is quickly caught and brought to justice."