Following last night's deadly attack on the outskirts of Strasbourg's Christmas market, the President of PACE has conveyed her condolences and solidarity in letters to the Speakers of the two chambers of the French Parliament and the Mayor of Strasbourg:
"On behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, allow me to express my deepest condolences on the attack last night in Strasbourg.
I was deeply shocked by this act of indiscriminate violence in the heart of the Strasbourg Christmas Market, which is visited on this holiday season by many Strasbourg citizens and tourists from all over the world. My emotion is all the stronger because - as President and member of the Parliamentary Assembly - I personally feel very close to Strasbourg, this European capital and home of democracy and human rights, host city to the Council of Europe.
At this particularly difficult time for the French people, our thoughts go out to the families of the victims, as well as to the injured and all of France. Similarly, we express our full support for the police, who are doing a remarkable job in protecting the population and whose response has been exceptional.
Our duty - as politicians - is to protect our democratic institutions and the values on which they are based by strongly condemning blind acts of violende such as this.
I would therefore like to assure you of the full support of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the difficult situation your country/city is facing."