Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir attended a national memorial service in Christchurch to honor the 50 victims of the March 15 mosque terrorist attack.
Some 20,000 people attended the high-security event at the city’s Hagley Park, including dozens of Islamic leaders, government representatives and Australian prime minister Scott Morison.
At the service, Al-Jubeir met with some family members of the victims, as well as the two injured Saudi nationals Khalid Al-Shadukhi and Aseel Al-Ansari.
#Christchurch | Minister of State for Foreign Affairs @AdelAljubeir met with the two injured #Saudi Nationals (Khalid Al-Shadukhi & Aseel Al-Ansari) and reassured of their health and well-being pic.twitter.com/HBlc79Vxyz
— Foreign Ministry (@KSAmofaEN) March 29, 2019
Al-Jubeir also met with New Zealand officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters, and Governor-General Patsy Reddy.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed thousands of the memorial attendees, who gave her a warm standing ovation.
“Our challenge now is to make the very best of us a daily reality. Because we are not immune to the viruses of hate, of fear, of other. We never have been,” Ardern said, in a native Maori cloak known as kakahu.
“But we can be the nation that discovers the cure. And so to each of us as we go from here, we have work to do,” she said, while also adding the world had to end the vicious cycle of extremism and that it needed a global effort.
“The answer to them lies in a simple concept that is not bound by domestic borders, that isn't based on ethnicity, power-base or even forms of governance. The answer lies in our humanity,” she said.