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"France is at war" - Francois Hollande

Hollande and Barack Obama have both given addresses in short order this afternoon.

hollande Francois Hollande speaking to the French parliament this afternoon Source: Youtube

FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS Hollande has insisted “France is at war”.

Hollande was addressing his nation’s parliament at Versailles near Paris this afternoon.

The French president was speaking with regard to the unprecedented terror attacks in Paris last Friday night which left 132 people dead and hundreds injured, a huge amount of them critically.

“The acts committed on Friday night are acts of war,” Hollande said.

This was an attack against our country, against its values, its youth, its way of living.
This dire group, this jihadist army is fighting against us because we are the motherland of human rights.
I want to be able to mark our national unity when faced with such an abomination.
I want us to respond with the cold determination that is appropriate to this appalling attack. Our democracy has triumphed over far worse adversaries than these cowardly assassins, these appalling killers.

“Our will is to put all of the power of the state at the service of the protection of our citizens. I know I can count on the devotion of our security services and of you yourselves,” Hollande said in reference to his parliamentary colleagues.

These terrorists believe that free people will be impressed by horror, and that is simply not the case.

“This war threatens the whole world and not only France,” he added.

This was the first occasion on which Hollande had spoken to the French executive since Friday night’s attacks. The assaults on six separate locations around the French capital were delivered without warning and showed no discrimination between civilians and security forces.

Barbaric

barack Barack Obama addressing the G20 summit in Turkey this afternoon Source: Youtube

Slightly earlier, US president Barack Obama spoke of his government’s commitment to its strategy towards “degrading and destroying” the “barbaric” organisation Isis.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Obama confirmed that at talks in Vienna over the weekend “all of the key countries” came together and agreed upon the best foot forward with regard to defeating the so-called Islamic State.

“Tragically Paris is not alone, as has been seen recently in Beirut, Ankara, and routinely in Iraq,” he said.

We are here to send an unmistakable message – we are united against this threat and we fully intend to degrade and destroy this barbaric organisation.

Obama suggested that Friday night’s attacks in Paris have presented a watershed with regards to diplomatic relations in the west and the war against Isis.

“On the diplomatic front there has been modest progress  - we now know that the only to defeat Isil is to unite against it,” he said.

We always understood that this will be a long term campaign. We are concentrating on intensifying our air strikes against Isis, of which there have been 8,000 to date, and on taking out Isil leaders and killers.

Obama confirmed that as far as the international coalition is concerned, president Bashar al-Assad of Syria “has no role to play in Syria’s future”.

“His role is the primary root cause of this crisis,” he said.

The rise of Isis can be traced back to al-Assad’s brutal putting-down of the rebellion within his own country following the Arab Spring of 2011.

The west has been relatively cagey in recent times with regard to openly opposing Assad given he has the support of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“We want a ceasefire in the civil war in Syria, and a transition towards a more inclusive government,” he said.

Isil already controls less territory than it has done previously. We have the right strategy and we’ll see it through.

Obama also said that the denunciation by Muslim faith leaders of Isis is the best way possible to discredit the organisation.

He further said that the US will continue to accept Syrian refugees.

“We will only accept more refugees, including Syrians, after rigorous screening and security checks,” he said.

But we cannot slam the door in their faces, that would be a betrayal of our values.
We must remember that many of these people are victims of terrorism themselves. That’s what they’re fleeing from.

Read: Explainer: Who are Islamic State?

Read: Irishman injured in Paris attacks ‘in a stable condition’ after shielding girlfriend from gunfire

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