Biden says he is ‘alarmed’ after horrific attack on Slovakian PM Robert Fico, wishes him speedy recovery

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed shock over the shooting of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico in an assassination attempt during a political event.

Denouncing the horrific act of violence on Fico, Biden informed that “Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”(AP )

In a statement, Biden said he was “alarmed” to hear the reports of attack on Fico. He wished speedy recovery to the Slovakian PM, mentioning that his thoughts are with Fico’s family and the Slovakians.

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Denouncing the horrific act of violence, he informed that “Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”

“I am alarmed to hear reports of an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Jill and I are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia. We condemn this horrific act of violence. Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist,” Biden said in a statement.

Fico, the pro-Russian leader, was shot multiple times and seriously injured on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old PM was said to be struggling for his life after getting struck in the stomach. The administration reported that at least four bullets were fired outside a cultural center in the town of Handlova, where Fico was gathering with supporters.

In a televised announcement, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova claimed a suspect has been taken into custody. Fico was helicoptered to a hospital. However, the motivation for the shooting remains unclear.

“I am shocked, we are all shocked… The hateful rhetoric we witness in society leads to hateful acts. Please, let’s stop it,” she said.

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Global leaders condemn attack on Fico

Several foreign leaders expressed outrage at the attack, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as well as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned the attack in a statement released Wednesday.

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good,” she stated.

Slovakia’s President-elect Peter Pellegrini, who is an ally of Fico, called the shooting “an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy.”

“If we express other political opinions with pistols in squares, and not in polling stations, we are jeopardizing everything that we have built together over 31 years of Slovak sovereignty,” he said.

Meanwhile, Czech PM Petr Fiala also wished his Slovakian counterpart a swift recovery, stating that “we cannot tolerate violence, there’s no place for it in society.”

Why was Fico attacked?

Fico’s return to power last year with a message of a pro-Russian and anti-American raised more concerns among other European Union members that he would take Slovakia further away from the Western mainstream.

His administration has blocked weaponry exports to Ukraine, and detractors fear that he may push Slovakia, a NATO member with 5.4 million people, to forsake its pro-Western stance and follow in the footsteps of Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán.

Thousands of people have marched in the capital and around Slovakia in opposition to Fico’s policies. Following the attack on the PM, Slovakia’s parliament has been suspended until further notice.

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