Obama Calls Angela Merkel with ‘Condolences’ After Berlin Terrorist Attack

US President Barack Obama's choice of Berlin for his Europe farewell tour is seen by some as the passing of the defence of liberal democracy baton to Chancellor Angela Merkel

President Barack Obama phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday night after a terrorist struck a Christmas market in Berlin.

The White House described the attack as a “horrific apparent terrorist attack” and offered a readout of the call.

“The President reiterated the U.S. offer of assistance and underscored that no attack could sway our determination – and that of our German allies – to defeat terrorism in all of its forms,” read the statement from White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz to reporters. “The President expressed his appreciation for Chancellor Merkel’s steadfast leadership in our shared efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism and defend our way of life.”

It is unclear when the president was informed of the attack, as he is currently on vacation in Hawaii.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price issued a statement in response to the Berlin attacks while the president was golfing:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, which has killed and wounded dozens. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, just as we wish a speedy recovery to all of those wounded. We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany. We have been in touch with German officials, and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident. Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies.

According to the White House, Obama was briefed on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey before he went golfing that afternoon with his friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme, and Joe Paulsen.

President-elect Donald Trump was quick to condemn both attacks as the result of “radical Islamic terror” and vowed to refocus the world on the struggle against terrorism.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dined with the family Monday night at Vintage Cave, a luxury French-Japanese eatery, according to the White House press pool.