GLENEAGLES, Scotland — The leaders of the world’s most industrialized countries, including some who have expressed doubts about the way the war on terror has been conducted, united yesterday behind a statement calling the terrorist bombings in London an attack “on all nations and on civilized people everywhere.”
The attacks on London’s subway and bus system cast a pall over the Group of Eight (G-8) summit, briefly interrupting meetings and discussions on such topics as climate change and African aid.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair crafted a statement condemning these “barbaric attacks,” reading it with the unanimous support of the G-8 nations plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
“All of our countries have suffered from the impact of terrorism,” Mr. Blair said before leaving the summit to address the crisis in London. “Those responsible have no respect for human life.
“We are united in our resolve to confront and defeat this terrorism that is not an attack on one nation, but on all nations and all civilized people everywhere.”
The flags of every G-8 nation — the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia — were lowered to half-staff yesterday. Press briefings and such ceremonial events as group photos were canceled.
President Bush also condemned the attack, stating that all of the G-8 leaders share his determination to fight terrorism.
“The war on terror goes on,” Mr. Bush said. “I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve, and that is, we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists.”
French President Jacques Chirac, who has been criticized by many in the U.S. for not being more helpful militarily in the war on terror, said the attacks “once again inspires us with horror.”
He offered Britain his “emotion and compassion,” saying the attacks “strengthened even further our sense of solidarity.”
Mr. Chirac said he was glad the summit resumed after about an hour-long break because “we didn’t want to give the people the satisfaction” of stopping it.
Asked what France is doing to battle terrorism, Mr. Chirac said he has fostered a “tangible strengthening in means and coordination” to prevent terrorist attacks. He did not, however, suggest that he would endorse hunting down terrorists worldwide before they strike.
“Terrorism is a constant tragedy, and one can discuss at length the root causes,” he said.
Mr. Blair said the G-8 summit, concentrating on fighting poverty and disease in Africa and global warming, would continue as scheduled and he returned to the Scottish golf resort last night after spending about six hours in London.
“We will continue our deliberations in the interests of a better world,” Mr. Blair said.
Leaders from all over Europe expressed a renewed commitment to fight the war against terrorists, who warned that other allies of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan court the same fate if they don’t retreat from the battlefield.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose country has committed 500 troops to Iraq and more to Afghanistan, said nations “must never bow to terrorists.”
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has sent 3,000 soldiers to Iraq — the fourth- largest contingent — acknowledged the threats against his country, but remained steadfast that his troops are staying put.
“Terrorism is the cancer which we mustn’t be frightened to fight,” he said. “If we are united and determined to face it, terrorism will not win.”
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder — who does not think the war in Iraq is an extension of the war on terror — also condemned the attacks.
“We agree that the international community must do everything in its power to fight terrorism together with all the means at its disposal,” he said.