World leaders offer condolences to Soma victims

World leaders offer condolences to Soma victims

World leaders offer condolences to Soma victims

Rescue workers arrive to get into the mine in Soma, western Turkey, early Wednesday, May 14, 2014. AP Photo

World leaders have started offering their condolences to victims of the mining explosion in Soma.

At his weekly General Audience May 14, Pope Francis made an appeal for prayer for the miners who lost their lives in the mining disaster. “Dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to pray for the miners who died in the mine yesterday in Soma, Turkey, and for those who are still trapped in the tunnels. May the Lord receive the deceased in His house and give comfort to their families,” Pope Francis was quoted as saying by Vatican Radio.

U.S. President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) issued a message on its Twitter account on May 14. “Heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in Manisa mine collapse. Our thoughts are with people of Turkey and those still trapped,” the message said.

For his part, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “Sending my sympathy and condolences to
the people of Turkey, terrible loss of life in mining disaster. My thoughts with everyone affected.”

Both countries’ envoys in Turkey also issued separate messages of condolences. U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone published a statement via his embassy’s Twitter account. “We have been following the mining disaster and related news in Soma with great sorrow. On behalf of the U.S. people, I offer my deepest condolences to families and relatives of those who lost their lives,” Ricciardone said.

British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore also shared a message on the government’s webpage. “I was deeply saddened to hear of the mining disaster in Manisa province. I send my deepest condolences to the families and friends of all of those affected by this tragedy,” Moore said.

German Ambassador to Turkey Eberhard Pohl said he shared the pain of the victims’ families. “We are with the miners trapped and their families. I hope they are rescued with all of my heart,” Pohl said in a statement. In a written statement, the Spanish Embassy to Ankara also expressed its sorrow and stated its hope for a positive outcome in the operation to rescue the trapped workers.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt also sent “deep condolences to Turkey and all relatives to the dead miners in Soma after the terrible accident.”

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle expressed his hope for the continued rescue efforts. “My condolences and thoughts go to the families and to all affected by this tragedy,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland also issued a message to express his condolences. “We at the Council of Europe are thinking of our Turkish friends today and share in your mourning,” Jagland said.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso also offered his condolences. “Our thoughts this morning are wıth the families of the victims of this tragic accident, and with those still waiting to hear of the fate on their missing loved ones,” he wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Erdoğan.

Azeri President İlham Aliyev sent a message of condolence to President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the Soma disaster, expressing his shock and great sadness.