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Published on September 24, 2014
Statements by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic
New York, September 23, 2014


As for Syria, our allies carried out an operation there yesterday evening, as part of our division of labor. We are in Iraq, others are in Syria. Our efforts are targeting the same group. And this afternoon I will meet with the head of Syria’s democratic opposition which, let me remind you, is for us Syria’s only legitimate representative.

Too much time has been wasted. We know this. A year ago, I sounded the alert, issued a warning. There’s now absolutely no more time to lose in the action we must carry out. What is under way is a long-term battle that will go on for as long as it takes, but must go on to the very end. Beyond the support that we – France and our allies that have mobilized – can provide, this battle can only be won if the people themselves fight to obtain their dignity, their sovereignty, and their freedom. That’s how terrorism will be defeated.

At this point in time and here at the headquarters of the United Nations, I want to say that the values that were reaffirmed in the aftermath of World War II are still at stake in the fight against terrorism, and that today the life of one of our compatriots is threatened. We must realize that we are facing a war that will go on for a long time. But we won’t give an inch./.

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