President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has commended the New Zealand authorities for their handling of the Christchurch mosque attack.
“I would like to thank the New Zealand government, Prime Minister Ardern in particular, for their sensitivity and firm stand against the incident,’’ Erdogan told a summit of foreign ministers from Muslim countries in Istanbul on Friday.
“The empathy and solidarity shown by Ardern towards Muslims should be an example for all world leaders.’’
Erdogan’s remarks follow tensions between the two countries after the Turkish president used blurred video footage of the attacks in his election rallies.
Erdogan vowed to hold the gunman to account “if New Zealand does not.’’
Erdogan on Friday condemned the shootings, which killed 50 people, as a “brutal terror act’’ and called on New Zealand authorities to reveal the attacker’s connections.
Earlier on Friday, New Zealand’s foreign minister said in Istanbul that the mosque attacker will “spend the rest of his life in isolation in a New Zealand prison.’’
“The families of the fallen will have justice,’’ Winston Peters said, adding that his country has launched “the largest investigation in our history’’ into the attack.
NAN reports that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced a ban of “military-style semi-automatic” weapons.
Ardern said New Zealanders could turn in their guns while officials develop a buyback program. The program could cost the government as much as $140 million.
The ban includes all semi-automatic weapons and shotguns that can be used with removable magazines that hold more than five rounds of bullets.
Ardern said the man charged in the mosque attacks used 30-round magazines that he bought “easily through a simple online purchase.” (dpa/NAN)