New York (December 19, 2016) – I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, who was speaking at an art gallery in Ankara. I condemn in the strongest terms this heinous act of terror.
No terrorist act can be justified, regardless of its perpetrators and their stated purposes. It is the expectation of the Turkish people and the world that the government investigate the circumstances of this incident, identify those who aided the perpetrator and take the necessary precautions so that such an attack cannot be staged in the future.
I send my deepest condolences to Ambassador Karlov’s family and to the Russian people for this tragic loss. I ask God the Most Compassionate to dry the roots of terrorism and lead the world to days of peace and tranquility.
Turkish and international experts repeatedly have pointed out the deterioration of security and counter-terrorism efforts due to the Turkish government’s assigning hundreds of counter-terrorism police officers to unrelated posts, as well as the firing and imprisoning many others since 2014.
This despicable act of shooting an ambassador, who represents an entire nation, only exacerbates the Syrian conflict that has already taken too many lives and driven too many from their homelands, like adding fuel to a fire.
I urge the Turkish and Russian governments, as well as the rest of the international community, to continue to work toward a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Our work to make the world a more peaceful place must continue unabated.