Eastwood: SDLP stands in solidarity with people of Paris and Beirut

The new leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood MLA.
The new leader of the SDLP, Colum Eastwood MLA.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has expressed his sympathy and solidarity with the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut over the weekend.

Mr Eastwood said that all parties committed to the power of peace across Europe stand united against those who seek to murder and maim their way to political goals.

Mr Eastwood will also meet with representatives of Belfast Islamic Centre this afternoon.

He said: “On behalf of the SDLP I want to express our sincere sympathy and solidarity with the people of Paris following the devastating scenes that unfolded on the streets of the city over the weekend.

“I also want to express our profound sadness following the ISIS bombing in a busy Beirut marketplace that killed over 40 innocent people. These attacks, no matter where they happen, no matter the scale of the destruction, no matter who the culprit, are an attack on all of us who value the primacy and the power of peace.

“As a people, and as an island, we acutely understand the suffering of the people of France and Lebanon. We know what it’s like to face the threat of terrorism and to face down those who seek to murder and maim their way to political goals.

Today we stand in solidarity with the founding principles of the French republic. The liberty to live our lives free from the threat of violence, the equality of all peoples regardless of colour or creed and a fraternal bond between all people and all parties committed to the power of peace as a tool for change.

“We were all united at Stormont today. We are united across these islands and across Europe against those who seek to shake the foundations of our peace. Let that spirit of unity be the message we send to them, it says more than anything else ever could.”