Visiting President Obama today at the White House, French President Francois Hollande said there “cannot be a better symbol for response” to the ISIS attacks than next week’s climate summit in Paris.
“We took the right measures in terms of security, protections, as well as in defending our values,” Hollande said, standing next to his host at an East Room press conference. “There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris, with some 150 heads of state and government.”
“Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They are coming to sort out the climate challenge and, again, to work and to find the right agreements so that we can limit greenhouse gas emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live.”
Hollande added that in addition to climate change, the world leaders “are also coming to express their support to freedom, to the fight against extremism, that radical Islam, which is becoming dangerous.”
“Yes, all of them are coming no matter their background, no matter their religion, their convictions, to express the same principles, the same values, with the same words, life. Yes, simply life,” he said. “…What we will be doing early next week in Paris means that we can continue to live.”
Obama said of the climate conference: “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”
On Wednesday, Hollande hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel “so that European countries, including Germany, can face up to their responsibility, including in terms of military intelligence and police cooperation and maybe more.”
On Thursday, the French president travels to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to “tell him that France can work together with Russia, if Russia concentrates its military action on Daesh against ISIL.”
Hollande said the fight “is about destroying Daesh no matter where they are,” but he said there will be no French boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq.
“It is about taking out their financing, hunting down their leaders, dismantling their networks and taking back the land they currently control,” he said. “We, therefore, decided, President Obama and myself, to scale up our strikes both in Syria and Iraq to broaden their scope, to strengthen our intelligence sharing regarding the targets we might aim at.”
“The priority is to take back key locations in the hands of Daesh in Syria. It is also a matter of urgency to close the border between Turkey and Syria and prevent terrorists from crossing the border and coming to Europe or other places and undertake such terrible attacks.”