US Secretary of State John Kerry has declared “Je suis Bruxellois” — “I am a citizen of Brussels” — during a solidarity visit to the Belgian capital Brussels in the wake of recent deadly terrorist attacks there.
“Then, voices across Europe declared, ‘Je suis Americain.’ Now, we declare, ‘Je suis Bruxellois’ and ‘Ik ben Brussel’,” Kerry said on Friday in French and Dutch, the country’s two main languages, after meeting with Belgian Premier Charles Michel in Brussels.
Kerry said that several Americans were among the dozens dead in Tuesday’s bomb attacks on Brussels airport and the metro system.
The twin blasts at Brussels Airport and another at a metro station close to the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital left at least 31 people dead and 270 others wounded.
The Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, which was reportedly created and funded by the US and its regional allies to destabilize the Middle East region, particularly Syria, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Kerry did not give a figure for those killed in the Brussels attacks but a US official separately said two Americans had been confirmed dead.
“The United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks,” Kerry said.
Kerry arrived in Brussels from Moscow where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on strengthening a fragile ceasefire in Syria where Daesh has captured swathes of territory.
The top US diplomat said the victims of Tuesday’s attacks were “not combatants in any conflict; they posed no threat; they wished no one harm,” in stark contrast to “terrorists whose sole aim was to kill and maim and sow fear.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama called on the world to unite to deal with the issue of terrorism and destroy Daesh. “The world has to be united against terrorism.”
“We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security not only of our own people but of those all around the world,” he added.