PARIS ATTACKS: OMAN EXPRESSES SYMPATHY, SOLIDARITY WITH FRANCE

MUSCAT: News of the Paris terrorist attacks on Friday led strong reactions from citizens and expatriates.

The carnage left hundreds dead and injured. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a statement strongly condemning the attacks.

“The sultanate expresses its sympathy to the families of the victims who died in the attack and shows solidarity with the French government and friendly people of France. The attack conflicts all religious and humanitarian ethics,” the statement said. A MoFA tweet stated that no Omanis have been injured in the attacks and that all resident Omani students are safe.

Describing the attack as “utterly deplorable”, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidi, Secretary General, MoFA, tweeted, “Sad events in Paris are utterly deplorable. Our sympathy goes to victims. The world must continue to work together with greater efforts, in tolerance and solidarity to defeat these dark forces.”

Florence Mazni, a sales and marketing head at a Muscat-based company, was in a state of shock and disbelief. “I returned from a vacation in Paris only a week ago. The attacks are really disturbing. There are nearly 800 French people in Oman and we are all glued to the news and are updating each another constantly.”

She added that her close friends and family members are safe and that the police in France has beefed up security.

Ali Jameel al Farsi, chairman of the Bird Fanciers Association, who often travels to France for business, said, “We had planned an exhibition in Paris next week, but we will have to cancel our visit now. I am sure that authorities have taken ample precautionary measures, but we do not want to take any chances. My colleagues and friends in Paris are safe. Our deepest condolences and solidarity are with those in France at this hour.”