United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said fighting terrorism must be a global priority. Speaking after paying floral tributes to martyrs of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai at Taj hotel, Guterres also said that no cause can justify terrorism of any kind.
“Fighting terrorism should be the global priority of every country,” said Guterres. People need to recognise the diversity and richness of cultures to stay together, Guterres said. “Terrorism is absolute evil and has no place in today’s world. No cause and no incident can justify terrorism,” Guterres said. “One of my first acts after becoming Secretary General was to establish an office for counter-terrorism to cooperate, guide and prepare countries in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
“This office is fighting against the roots of violent extremism. Be it religion or ethnicity or beliefs, no reason can justify violent extremism,” he said. Describing the 26/11 terror attacks as one of the most barbaric acts of terrorism in history, Guterres said the 166 victims of the attacks are “heroes of our world”. “I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends and to the people of India and also those from other parts of the world who lost their lives,” he said.
Accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Guterres placed a floral wreath at the 26/11 attacks memorial in the hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace hotel was one of the targets of the horrific terror attacks in 2008. It is the UN chief’s first visit to India since his second term in office commenced in January.
He had earlier visited the country in October 2018 during his first term. Guterres landed in Mumbai on Wednesday shortly after midnight via a commercial flight. He was greeted by senior Maharashtra government officials on arrival. Guterres delivered a public address at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai on UN-India partnership, before flying to Gujarat, where he will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event relating to the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) in Gujarat’s Kevadiya on October 20. His visit to the country comes more than a week before the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee holds its two-day deliberations in India.