President Vladimir Putin: Over the last ten days Russia has been hit by a series of terrorist attacks that have left dozens of innocent people killed and injured.
We realise that these attacks are directed not only at individual Russian citizens but against Russia as a whole. What is happening now in North Ossetia is terrible, terrible because children are among those taken hostage, and because this attack could tear apart the already fragile inter-religious and interethnic relations in the region. We will do everything in our power to prevent such a development of events.
Our primary objective in this situation, of course, is to save the lives and health of those who have been taken hostage. All action taken by our forces who are working on freeing the hostages will be dictated solely by this objective, by the need to resolve this task.
In connection with these events, I would like to express my gratitude to all the heads of state and government and to the UN Security Council, to all those who have expressed their solidarity with Russia.
I would also like to express my gratitude to you, Your Majesty, for accepting our invitation and coming to Moscow. I hope that your voice, the voice of the authoritative leader of a Muslim country, the voice of a man who we know is considered to be a direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, will be heard by those upon whom depend the lives and health of our citizens who have been taken hostage.
King Abdullah II: Mr President, as your friend I would like to express my concern over this unfolding drama in which schoolchildren have been taken hostage. As the father of three children, I can imagine very well what the parents whose dearly loved children are in the hands of the hostage takers must be going through. As a Muslim, I pray for the safe return of these children to their parents.
At this time as this terrible tragedy unfolds and innocent children have been taken hostage and have become the victims of this terrible act of terrorism, we in the Muslim community, and indeed in the entire world community, stand firmly on your side and ask that these lives be saved.
Mr President, we are all praying for Russia at this moment, we are all praying for you, for these young schoolchildren held hostage to be safely reunited with their parents and for an end to this terrible crime, and we hope that this will happen.