Ardern expresses ‘sadness, sorrow’

Husband Clarke Gayford (left) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receives the Tabua during the welcome ceremony of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at GPH yesterday. Picture: RAMA

NEW Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday expressed “sadness and sorrow” at the loss of three Fijians in the terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques last year.

Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, Ashraf Ali and Ashraf Ali Razat were the three Fijians killed in the horrific attacks on March 15.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday, Ms Ardern publicly thanked Mr Bainimarama for being “among the first” to reach out to New Zealand after the tragic attacks at the Linwood and Al Noor mosques.

“In our conversation, Prime Minister Bainimarama acknowledged what New Zealand went through a year ago as we approach the anniversary of March 15 and I want to thank Fiji for the warm hand of friendship that you’ve reached out and extended to us in our darkest of hours, particularly when you yourselves lost your own in that attack,” she said.

Ms Ardern will be visiting the family of the late Imam Musa Patel in Lautoka tomorrow.

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