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Attacks in Paris

Published on November 16, 2015
Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, following the Defence Council meeting
Paris, November 14, 2015

My dear compatriots,

What happened yesterday in Paris and in Saint-Denis near the Stade de France is an act of war, and in the face of war the country must take the appropriate decisions. It’s an act of war which was committed by a terrorist army, Daesh [ISIL], a jihadist army, against France, against the values we uphold all over the world, against what we are: a free country that speaks to the whole planet. It’s an act of war which was prepared, organized, planned externally, and with internal complicity which the investigation will enable us to establish. It’s an act of absolute barbarity: as I speak, 127 people are dead and many wounded. The families are suffering grief and distress, and the country is suffering.

I’ve issued a decree to declare three days of national mourning. Every measure to protect our fellow citizens and our territory is being taken in line with the state of emergency. So the domestic security forces and the army – to whom I pay tribute, particularly for the action carried out yesterday, which enabled us to neutralize the terrorists – the army and the domestic security forces are mobilized at the highest capability level. I’ve ensured that every mechanism is stepped up to the maximum level: soldiers will patrol Paris throughout the coming days. Because it’s been cravenly, shamefully, violently attacked, France will show no mercy to the Daesh barbarians. It will act, within the framework of the law, with every means appropriate and in every theatre, both domestic and external, in consultation with our allies, who are themselves targeted by this terrorist threat. In such a painful, such a serious, such a decisive period for our country, I call for unity, for people to pull together and stay calm, and I’ll be addressing a special joint meeting of both chambers of Parliament in Versailles on Monday to rally the nation in this ordeal. France is strong, and even though it may be wounded it always gets back up, and nothing will be able to hurt it, even if we are plunged in grief. France is robust, it is active, France is valiant and it will triumph over barbarism; history reminds us of this, and the strength we’re capable of harnessing today convinces us of it.

My dear compatriots, what we are defending is our homeland, but it’s much more than that. It’s the values of humanity, and France will be able to shoulder its responsibilities, and I call on you to show this essential unity.

Long live the Republic, and long live France!./.

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