Germany’s president spoke on Thursday about Norway’s response to terrorist attacks, saying he admired the strength “with which Norwegians defy the hatred and violence that have shocked and saddened the entire country and the entire continent.”
Steinmeier, on a two-day visit to the Nordic country, singled out far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s bomb and shooting spree 10 years ago in which 77 people were killed in Oslo and at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya.
“They will not allow terror to wound our values of democracy, freedom and solidarity,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said of Norwegians during remarks delivered in Oslo.
The recent appointment of two survivors of the Utoya attack to Cabinet posts is an expression of the strength of democracy, Steinmeier said, according to a transcript released by his office.
Steinmeier delivered the remarks at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store of the Labour Party. Store’s centre-left minority government took power last month.
In mid-October, Norway was shaken by another act of bloodshed, in which a man attacked and killed five people with various weapons – including a bow and arrow – in the town of Kongsberg.
Steinmeier also recalled the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Germany, which was also busted 10 years ago. The far-right terror cell had killed nine people with foreign roots and a police officer between 2000 and 2007.
“The NSU’s disgusting murders are an expression of xenophobia that we will never tolerate in Germany,” the German president said.