SA condemns murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has extended condolences to the government and people of Russia following the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov.

The Russian diplomat was killed by a gunman at an art exhibition ceremony Monday in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

The Russian Foreign Ministry declared the attack a terrorist act, while President Vladimir Putin said it was designed to spoil Russian-Turkish ties.

President Zuma said South Africa joins the international community in condemning this brutal attack against a diplomat.

He said the assassination was in violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“We would like to convey our deepest condolences to H.E President Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Russian Federation, and in particular, to the family of the Ambassador Karlov. We also wish those injured in the attack, a speedy and full recovery,” President Zuma said on Tuesday.

The President said terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

“Any acts of terrorism are criminal, unjustifiable and cannot be condoned. To this end, South Africa wishes to reiterate its commitment to international initiatives aimed at fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism,” said President Zuma. - SAnews.gov.za