Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary
We will be expressing solidarity with President Putin. We hope we can see a safe solution to this crisis. We have to recognise from this appalling situation that terrorism affects us all and we have to show complete solidarity.
I have been closely watching the terrible developments. It is hard to express my revulsion at the inhumanity of terrorists prepared to put children and their families through such suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, the families and friends of those killed, those injured and all of the Russian people at this time.
Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister
We are all holding our breath; lots of children are now in hospital and we'll see what happens. But clearly the fathers and mothers of the world have breathed a sigh of relief. These are astonishing times. The level of insecurity is very high.
Gerhard Schröder, German Chancellor
Everyone in Germany is moved with sympathy for the victims and their families, as of course am I.
Scott McClennan, White House spokesman
There is no justification for the taking of innocent life, and the barbaric nature of this terrorist act is despicable. The responsibility for the tragic loss of life rests with the terrorists. The US stands side by side with Russia in our global fight against terrorism.
Stig Moeller, Danish Foreign Minister
It is totally inhumane to take children as hostages. I think there is no excuse for that and it harms any kind of sympathy for the Chechen cause.
Antanas Valonis, Lithuanian Foreign Minister
We have to be very careful ... if we repeat the same story as in Moscow it would be awful. [Referring to the debacle of the theatre siege last year.]
Jerzy Szmajdzinski, Polish Defence Minister
Terrorism has shown one of its ugliest faces: attacking the children.
Bernard Bot, Dutch Foreign Minister
This shows again that we have to do everything in our power to combat terrorism. We have to condemn terrorism in whatever form. Let it also be a stimulus for us to work more closely together to avoid similar tragedies."
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