Latvia condemns terror attacks, while politicians blame immigration

Latvia offered official condolences and strong condemnation of apparent terror attacks in France and Tunisia Friday even while some of its more extremist politicians scrambled to blame "immigration" for the slayings.

"Latvia condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terror and violence of any kind and conveys deepest condolences to the families of the victims," an official statement from the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.

One person died and two others were injured in a terrorist attack at a chemical factory near the city of Lyon, southern France, while at least twenty seven people have been killed at a beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia.

"During its Presidency of the EU Council, Latvia has been focusing increased attention on the fight against terrorism, which has become one of the priorities on EU agenda. In response to increasing risks of terrorism, an in-depth discussion has already taken place in the EU at various levels and areas, setting priorities for further measures to combat terrorism. There is no justification for terrorist crimes, and therefore, the entire international community should take action against terrorists and their supporters," the Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said:

President-elect Raimonds Vejonis struck a similar note, saying:

However, other politicians could barely contain their eagerness to hold up the slayings as evidence of the dangers of migration - despite the fact that as yet no migrants have been linked to either crime scene and the exact circumstances remain under investigation.

Janis Dombrava, a prominent member of parliament from the right-wing National Alliance grouping tweeted: "Terror attacks committed by ISIS should put a full stop to discussions about taking migrants into Europe."

His party colleague Janis Iesalnieks, who is parliamentary secretary at the Justice Ministry (which comes under the umbrella of the Interior Ministry which in turn is responsible for immigration policy) described the murder in France as "the flowering of immigration" despite the fact that chief suspect Yassin Salhi is reported to be a French citizen of French birth.

"Yes, a real 'Frenchman', Yassin Salhi," Iesalnieks ironised when challenged by journalist Nellija Locmele on the matter, adding a 'smiley' symbol for good measure in his reply.

 

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