President Barack Obama met with François Hollande, president of France, on Tuesday to address the Paris attacks that occurred on November 13. Obama directly addressed how the U.S. plans to react to the tragedy and to the terrorist group ISIS moving forward.
ABC News reports that the two presidents first had a private meeting in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., after which a press conference was held in the East Room of the White House. Hollande was in attendance and spoke at the press conference as well.
During the press conference, Obama spoke quite extensively about what Parisian culture means to Americans, signifying that the people of the United States both empathize with and fully support those directly affected by the terrorist attacks.
“In that stadium and the concert hall, in those restaurants and cafes, we see our own. In the face of the French people, we see ourselves.”
Barack Obama spoke about Americans recalling their own visits to Paris and their wonderful experiences there in light of the tragedy, and even talked about a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama taken in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, according to CNN. He plainly said, in the French language, that all Americans are French, which references the headline of a French newspaper published following the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil, which can be translated to “we are all Americans.” Just as the French stood by the U.S. in times of turmoil, the U.S. now stands beside Paris and the rest of the country as well.
The U.S. president then went on to say that he believes the terrorist group ISIS poses a threat to everyone, and that the United States will fight alongside France to defeat the terrorist group. He described America’s support for France as “total solidarity.”
According to ABC News, President Obama said that the U.S. plans to show such support by sharing knowledge and providing additional supplies and military via airlift. He also said that an agreement would be created between the two countries so that passenger information could be shared by their respective airlines.
CNN reported in a recent article that President Obama has already been working with Hollande as an ally, and told Hollande what the locations would be for last week’s airstrikes in Al-Raqqa, Syria.
After Obama had pledged America’s allegiance, French President Hollande then took the floor to detail France’s future plans against ISIS. ABC News reveals that Hollande said France is planning to perform more airstrikes on Iraq and Syria, targeting ISIS members. France will not be sending ground troops into these areas, however. Hollande was clear on that.
The two presidents together addressed the need for further support from other countries. Russia was specifically mentioned, as well as the need for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop attacking rebels in Syria, says CNN. Hollande is set to meet with Putin on Thursday, and bears the responsibility of convincing Putin that Russia should be more cooperative.
In addition to discussing the two countries’ comradeship and the future plans to take on ISIS, Obama addressed Hollande’s decision to take in Syrian refugees in the future. He commended Hollande and all of France for this, saying that it is “our humanitarian duty to help desperate refugees.” He also quotes a bit of the text found on the Statue of Liberty, which was gifted to the U.S. by France.
ABC News reports that French President François Hollande has committed to providing refuge for 30,000 Syrians over the next 24 months.
[Main image courtesy of Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images]