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They Said It

"We have compiled data about the different air defence systems we have in NATO and focused on the Patriot systems. And we are working with allies to ensure that they redeploy some of their systems to Ukraine."
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in comments saying that NATO is working to send more air defence systems to Ukraine and that delays in providing such aid were harming Kyiv's efforts to resist Russia's attacks (as quoted on Reuters).
18th April, 2024
"For more than two years now, the Russian Federation has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, which France condemns in the strongest possible terms. Given these circumstances, President Putin will not be invited to take part in the Normandy landings commemoration."
- French organisers of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in June in a statement to Reuters in which they also said Russia will still be invited to be represented "given the importance of its role and the sacrifice of the Soviet people, so that their contribution to the victory in 1945 can be honoured".

17th April, 2024
"There were 11 missiles flying. We destroyed the first seven, and four [remaining] destroyed Trypillia. Why? Because there were zero missiles. We ran out of missiles to defend Trypillia."
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in comments in which he said a lack of air defence missiles prevented Ukraine from thwarting a Russian missile attack last week that destroyed the biggest power plant in the region around the capital Kyiv (as quoted on Reuters).
16th April, 2024
"Iran never gave us a message giving us the time or the targets. This whole narrative out there that Iran passed us a message about what they were going to do is ridiculous."
- White House national security spokesperson John Kirby in comments to reporters in which he said the United States did exchange messages with Iran but that there were never any messages regarding Iran's timeframe or targets for its weekend attack (as quoted on Reuters).
15th April, 2024
"I make a heartfelt appeal for a halt to any action that could fuel a spiral of violence with the risk of dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict. No-one should threaten the existence of others. All nations should stand, instead, for peace, and help Israelis and Palestinians to live in two states, side-by-side, in safety."
- Pope Francis, speaking to pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, in reference to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East (as quoted on Reuters).
12th April, 2024
"The leadership of the United States is indispensable. Without US support, how long before the hopes of Ukraine would collapse under the onslaught from Moscow? Without the presence of the United States, how long before the Indo-Pacific would face even harsher realities?"
- Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on 11th April, 2024, in the first speech to a joint meeting of US Congress by a Japanese leader in nine years (as quoted on Reuters)
11th April, 2024
"The temperature trends are very concerning. With the heat and dryness across the country we can expect that the wildfire season will start sooner and end later and potentially be more explosive."
- Harjit Sajjan, Canada's minister for emergency preparedness, speaking at a press conference about the upcoming wildfire season (as quoted on Reuters).
10th April, 2024
"We are seeing a sea change, which we hope is sustained and expanded upon."
- US Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power, speaking in reference to the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza at a hearing of the US Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees US diplomatic and foreign assistance spending (as quoted on Reuters).
9th March, 2024
"It now seems that Pope Francis cannot say anything different from what has been said before, as if the teachings of the church had been permanently set by previous popes."
- Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, defending Pope Francis' right to update church positions in line with the times; his comments came as the Vatican released a new declaration reaffirming its opposition to gender-affirming surgery, "gender theory" and surrogate parenthood (as quoted on Reuters).
8th April, 2024
"In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers."
- A letter on Friday from dozens of congressional Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging a halt to weapons transfers to Israel (as quoted on Reuters).
5th April, 2024
"I have no doubt whatsoever, including in terms of information."
- French President Emmanuel Macron commenting on Thursday that he had no doubt Russia would malevolently target the Paris Olympics this summer (as quoted on Reuters).
4th April, 2024
"Russia's friends in Asia are vital for continuing this war of aggression."
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking in reference to Russia's war on Ukraine (as quoted on Reuters).
3rd April, 2024
"This is completely unacceptable. I conveyed to Prime Minister Netanyahu in very clear terms that Australians were outraged by this death."
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, speaking after Australian Zomi Frankcom was among seven people - including people from Britain and Poland as well as Palestinians and a dual citizen of the US and Canada, working for the World Central Kitchen in Gaza killed in an Israeli airstrike (as quoted on Reuters).
"If we made a mistake, we will fix it."
- Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan after his party's defeat in Turkey's local elections where the opposition capitalised on economic woes and alienated Islamist voters, casting uncertainty over his reform plans (as quoted on Reuters).
"Mayors...are risking their lives, working with bulletproof vests, surrounded by firearms."
- Homero Castanier, executive director of the Association of Ecuadorean Municipalities, speaking amid news that more mayors are seeking police protection amid spiralling gang violence (as quoted on Reuters).
"By being able to stop cars from coming over the bridge, these people are heroes. They saved lives last night."
- Maryland Governor Wes Moore, speaking in reference to those on the ship who reported a power failure before impact which enabled officials to stop traffic on the bridge before ship Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge (as quoted on Reuters).
"In electing me, the Senegalese people have decided on a break with a past. I promise to govern with humility and transparency."
- Senegal opposition presidential candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who is set to be declared the next president after his main rival called him to concede defeat (as quoted on Reuters).
"It is already obvious that we are faced not just with a carefully and cynically planned terrorist attack, but with the organised mass murder of peaceful defenceless people. The criminals were cold-blooded and purposefully going to kill, shoot our citizens at point-blank range - our children."
- Russian President Vladimir Putin in an address to the nation after gunmen killed more than 130 people in an attack on a concert at the Crocus City Hall just outside Moscow on 22nd March, 2024 (as quoted on Reuters)
"Ukraine needs even more support. And you need it now. Time in Ukraine is not measured in days, weeks or months. It is measured in human lives. In allied nations a week is a week. In Ukraine a week is a mother, a father, child, friend, lover, lost forever."
- NATO Military Committee Chief Rob Bauer, speaking during a visit to Kyiv as the Ukraine conflict continues (as quoted on Reuters).
"The firm determination to oppose any external interference in Hong Kong affairs is unswerving. Any attack on the protection of national security is a smear. It will never succeed, will be doomed to failure."
- Lin Jian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, in comments on Wednesday in which he urged Britain to stop making "groundless accusations" about Hong Kong's new national security law and denounced countries that "smear" legislation that critics say further threatens freedoms in the former British colony.
"I don't care if they use it. Because what I'm saying is a form of negotiation. Why should we guard these countries that have a lot of money and the United States was paying for most of NATO?"
- Former US President Donald Trump, speaking to former British politician Nigel Farage on Britain's right-leaning GB News, in defence of comments he made at a rally in February in which he said he would encourage Russia "to do whatever the hell they want" to a NATO member if it wasn't spending enough on defence (as quoted on Reuters).
"If we want peace, we must prepare for war."
- European Council President Charles Michel in an op-ed published in European newspapers and the Euractiv website in which he said Europe must strengthen its defence capabilities and shift to a "war economy" mode in response to the threat posed by Russia {as quoted on Reuters).
"We cannot stand by and watch Palestinians risk starvation."
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz, speaking at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he echoed a call from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a ceasefire deal and more aid for Gaza (as quoted on Reuters).
"We will never take the path of boycotting [the Olympic Games]. We will always support our athletes. But we stress that the conditions set by the IOC [International Olympic Committee] are illegitimate, unfair and unacceptable."
- Stanislav Pozdnyakov, head of the Russian Olympic Committee , said in comments carried by the state RIA news agency, referring to IOC restrictions which will allow Russians and Belarusians who qualify in their sport for the Paris Games to take part as neutrals without their countries' flags, emblems or national anthems (as quoted on Reuters)
"I can only become the prime minister if ALL the parties in the coalition supported it. That was not the case."
- Dutch politician Geert Wilders in a post on X in which he said he was ready to forego the job of prime minister in an effort to facilitate the formation of a new right-wing government; the comments come nearly four months after an election in which his party won most votes (as quoted on Reuters).
13th March, 2024
"A ceasefire is on the table today, for six weeks to be built on into something more enduring if Hamas would simply release women, wounded and elderly."
- White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking in reference to the Israel-Hamas conflict at reporters on 12th March, 2024 (as quoted on Reuters).
12th March, 2024
"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused."
- A message posted on X by Kate, Princess of Wales, after Kensington Palace released an image of the princess and her children which caused an uproar when it was discovered it had been edited (as quoted on Reuters).
"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day."
- Kate, Britain's Princess of Wales, in a message on X - her first public message since undergoing abdominal surgery in January (as quoted on Reuters)
"As the House continues to stall, Russia is gaining ground and Ukraine is being forced to ration ammunition and supplies. The House must act and show the strength of the US support for Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression. Congressional inaction is nothing short of a gift to Putin, Iran and other adversaries that stand against America and its allies."
- US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in comments at the start of a bilateral meeting with German economy minister Robert Habeck in Washington on Thursday, 7th March, 2024 (as quoted on Reuters).
"It seems to me that we have not only heard, we have seen this strike today."
- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaking at a  news conference on 7th March, 2024, alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Odesa after a Russian missile hit nearby (as quoted on Reuters).
"This first phase of a ceasefire would also enable a surge of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, and provide time and space to secure more enduring arrangements and sustained calm."
- The White House in a statement about the proposed ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict (as quoted on Reuters)
"The conflict has escalated drastically, with rival gangs coordinating to extend their control over Port-au-Prince, and violent acts are occurring in broad daylight."
- International Rescue Committee in a statement referring to the deteriorating security situation in Haiti (as quoted on Reuters)
"Hamas claims its wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal. Let's get a ceasefire. Let's reunite the hostages with their families. And let's provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza."
- US Vice President Kamala Harris in comments at an event in Selma, Alabama on Sunday, 4th March, 2024, to commemorate the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday", in which she called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and forcefully pressed Israel to increase the flow of aid (as quoted on Reuters).
"We are urgently seeking additional information on exactly what took place. We have been in touch with the Israeli Government since early this morning and understand that an investigation is underway. We will be monitoring that investigation closely and pressing for answers."
- US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, speaking in reference to an incident in northern Gaza on Thursday in which health authorities in Gaza said more than 100 Palestinians had been shot dead by Israeli forces as they waited for an aid delivery; Israel blamed the deaths on crowds that surrounded aid trucks, saying victims had been trampled or run over (as quoted on Reuters).
"We haven't learned our lesson and haven't acted. Unfortunately, the railway is not in a better state."
- Costas Lakafossis, an accident investigator commissioned by victim relatives to investigate Greece's worst train disaster in which 57 people died on 28th February, 2023 (as quoted on Reuters)
"I leave this place appreciative and thankful, unburdened by offences, and released from any bitterness that can so often haunt post-political lives. This is due to my faith in Jesus Christ, which gives me the faith to both forgive but also to be honest about my own failings and shortcomings.”
- Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his valedictory speech to federal parliament (as quoted on The Guardian)
"Sweden is leaving 200 years of neutrality and military non-alignment behind. We are joining NATO in order to defend what we are and everything we believe in even better. We are defending our freedom, our democracy and our values, together with others."
- Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, speaking at a press conference after Hungary's parliament approved Sweden's NATO accession on Monday, clearing the last hurdle before the historic step by the Nordic country (as quoted on Reuters).
"We must be bolder in hitting the Russian war economy...And we must be bolder in seizing the hundreds of billions of frozen Russian assets."
- UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in an article in an early edition of the Sunday Times to mark two years since the start of the conflict (as quoted on Reuters)
"Children who do survive this war will not only bear the visible wounds of traumatic injuries, but the invisible ones too."
- Christopher Lockyear, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) international secretary general, speaking to the 15-member UN Security Council on 22nd February, 2024 (as quoted on Reuters).
"Multi-lateral institutions are not adequately equipped to deal with current challenges, as demonstrated by the Security Council's unacceptable paralysis in relation to ongoing conflicts."
- Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, speaking at a G20 meeting in Brazil on Wednesday (as quoted on Reuters).
"I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack [on Israel] on 7 October. Too many have been killed."
- Prince William in a statement released on Tuesday in reference to the Israel-Hamas conflict (as quoted on Reuters)
"I want to live in a free Russia, I want to build a free Russia."
- Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Alexei Navalnt, speaking after the death of her husband in a Russian prison last week, in the video message entitled "I will continue the work of Alexei Navalny" (as quoted on Reuters).
"I felt very sorry for him and for our country. I'm scared."
- An 83-year-old woman attending a vigil for Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian prison on Friday, in St Petersburg on Saturday who declined to give her name (as quoted on Reuters)
"Parades, rallies, schools, movies - it seems like almost nothing is safe."
- Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, speaking after one person was killed and 21 injured in a mass shooting at a Super Bowl parade in the city on Wednesday (as quoted on Reuters)
"To be honest, I thought that he would behave aggressively and ask so-called sharp questions. I was not just prepared for this, I wanted it, because it would give me the opportunity to respond in the same way."
- Russian President Vladimir Putin in comments in which he said he was surprised by a lack of sharp questions from US television host Tucker Carlson in an interview last week (as quoted on Reuters)

"If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe we have to think about the provision of arms."
- European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaking to reporters with regard to the Israel-Hamas conflict and its impact on civilians in Gaza (as quoted on Reuters).

"It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him - by then a former president well into his 80s of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."
- US Special Counsel Robert Hur in a 345-page report that found US President Joe Biden had "wilfully retained and disclosed classified materials" but added that he will not be charged and which noted that it would be difficult to convict the President of improper handling of files because "at trial, Mr Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" (as quoted on the BBC).
"I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you...for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially in recent days. It means a great deal to us all."
- Prince William, speaking as he returned to official duties after news of his wife's recent surgery and that his father King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer (as quoted on Reuters).
"He was a democrat from the first hour and genuinely sought what he believed was best for the country - for example, when he led the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake of Feb 27, 2010, or when he managed with great determination and audacity the rescue of the 33 miners of the San Jose mine, or also, more recently, in the management of the pandemic."
- Chile's President Gabriel Boric, paying tribute to former President Sebastian Pinera, who ran the country from 2010-2014 and 2018-2022, who died in a helicopter crash on Tuesday in the south of the country (as quoted on Reuters).
It is clear that the Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, the feelings of their loved ones and the emotions of our society."
- Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a statement in his nightly broadcast in which he called for full clarity on the circumstances of the crash of a Russian plane in a Russian border region which Moscow said was carrying Ukrainian POWs and accused Ukraine of shooting down (as quoted on Reuters).
“The planet is melting, we are breaking temperature records every day. It is not possible that, in a scenario like this, eight Amazonian countries are unable to put in a statement – in large letters – that deforestation needs to be zero.”

– Marcio Astrini, of Climate Observatory, speaking after eight Amazon nations failed to agree a common goal for ending deforestation (as quoted on Reuters).
“Standing in searing heat in that scarred landscape, breathing air polluted by the many gas flares dotting the region, it was clear to me that the era of global boiling has indeed begun.”

– UN human rights chief Volker Turk, speaking at the end of a four day visit to Iraq (as quoted on Reuters).
“We will need to rebuild the entirety of Lahaina.”

– Hawaii Governor Josh Green, speaking as the death toll from wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui rose to 53 (as quoted on Reuters).


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