The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, has met with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel to offer his condolences for the mosque shootings.
Mr Stoltenberg, who has been NATO Secretary General since 2014, is in New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand Government.
Before taking up the NATO role, Mr Stoltenberg was Prime Minister of Norway. He was the country’s leader when Anders Breivik, a Norwegian far right extremist, killed 77 people in two terrorist attacks in July 2011.
“Mr Stoltenberg lost friends in the attacks and understands all too well the devastating impact of such atrocities,’’ says the Mayor.
“The Norway and Christchurch attacks were each motivated by religious intolerance and hatred and have affected both nations profoundly, so it was good to have the chance to talk with Mr Stoltenberg and share experiences.
“I was very touched when Mr Stoltenberg gave me a letter from the AUF – the youth affiliate of the Norwegian Labour Party - and a photograph of Utoya, the island where they were on a summer camp when the terrorist shooting took place.''
"The letter contained the following message: Terrorism knows no borders, but that is also true for solidarity. Know that we stand with you against right-wing extremism and these vicious attacks on your everyday life. No-one should ever be attacked or killed for being who they are or for what they believe.’'