France seeks global coalition against Islamic State
Updated: 2015-11-17 10:00
PARIS - French President Francois Hollande called on the United States and Russia on Monday to join a global coalition to destroy Islamic State following the attacks across Paris, and announced a wave of measures to combat terrorism in France.
"France is at war," Hollande told a joint session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles, promising to increase funds for national security and strengthen anti-terrorism laws in response to the suicide bombings and shootings that killed 129.
"We're not engaged in a war of civilisations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world," he told a packed, somber chamber.
Parliamentarians gave Hollande a standing ovation before spontaneously singing the "Marseillaise" national anthem in a show of political unity after the worst atrocity France has seen since World War Two.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday's coordinated attacks, saying they were in retaliation for France's involvement in US-backed air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
Hollande pledged that French fighter jets would intensify their assaults and said he would meet US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days to urge them to pool their resources.
"We must combine our forces to achieve a result that is already too late in coming," the president said.
The US-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State for more than a year. Russia joined the conflict in September, but Western officials say it has mainly hit foreign-backed fighters battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not Islamic State.
Speaking in Turkey at the same time as Hollande, Obama called Friday's attacks a "terrible and sickening setback", but maintained that the US-led coalition was making progress.
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