Wellington, April 26 (IANS) Britain’s Prince William on Friday met about 160 survivors and the victims’ families at the Al Noor Mosque, one of the two mosques attacked on March 15 in Christchurch.
Prince William said to survivors of the attacks, “Hate will fail to divide us”, reports Xinhua news agency
On the second day of the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to New Zealand, he visited Christchurch at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s invitation to show the royal family’s support following the shootings which killed 50 people in two mosques.
“On the 15th of March, tragedy unfolded in this room. A terrorist attempted to sow division and hatred in a place that stands for togetherness and selflessness,” the Prince said in his speech.
“When I woke up in London on the morning of the 15th of March, I could not believe the news, an act of unspeakable hate had unfolded in New Zealand, a country of peace. And it had unfolded in Christchurch, a city that has endured so much more than its fair share of hardship.
“When it was confirmed that 50 New Zealand Muslims had been killed, murdered while peacefully worshipping, again I just could not believe the news,” he told the gatherings.
He said New Zealand’s response to the shooting was an example to inspire the world.
“I have had reasons myself to reflect on grief and sudden pain, and loss in my own life. In my role I have often seen up close the sorrow of others in moments of tragedy, as I have today,” he said.
The Prince also said Ardern showed extraordinary leadership of compassion and resolve.
Prince William went around the room to talk to individual families affected by the tragedy after his speech.
The visit, on behalf of the Queen, were heavily guarded by the armed police.
On the occasion of Anzac Day on Thursday, the Duke of Cambridge placed a wreath on the war memorial cenotaph in the Auckland Domain.