France shares Germans’ grief after Berlin attack - President

Fight against terrorism – Germany/terrorist attack in Berlin/telephone conversation between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 20 December 2016

The President called Chancellor Merkel following the despicable attack which claimed the lives of 12 people and injured dozens at a Christmas market in Berlin yesterday.

The President expressed to Mrs Merkel his deepest sympathy, his friendship and the solidarity of the whole of France. The French people know the importance of these expressions of support during the dark hours of grief.

The President and the Chancellor confirmed that the French and German security services are fully mobilized in fighting the scourge of terrorism and implementing the measures decided on at European level.

They agreed that this ruthless fight against terrorism must not weaken either the values or the way of life that democracies have chosen./.

Fight against terrorism – Germany – Reply by M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Prime Minister, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 20 December 2016

You’ve just recalled the fraternal ties uniting us to Germany and the duty of solidarity incumbent on us, at a time when that great country, our friend, has in turn been struck by terrorism. I was in the front line, along with the President and the then prime minister, Manuel Valls, when our country was struck in 2015 and then in 2016 in the Nice tragedy, which you mentioned, and I remember the words and gestures of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the words and gestures of my then counterpart, Thomas de Maizière, who in turn is in the front line. We took note back then of Franco-German friendship, fraternity and solidarity.

Like all the members of parliament here in this chamber, my thoughts of solidarity and deep sympathy go to Berliners and to Germans in general, who have been struck a harsh blow and have, in turn, seen terrorism attempt to spread fear on their soil. This solidarity and this strong relationship between our two countries are also significant. They’re a message we send to the terrorists, expressing our two countries’ determination, the whole of Europe’s determination to remain standing, strong in itself and in its values, in the face of those who want to spread terror everywhere through despicable violence.

I entirely share your sentiment, expressed just now by the President of the National Assembly: as soon as the terrorists attack Europe’s values of humanity and humanism, we must respond with the utmost firmness, the utmost determination and the utmost solidarity. This has a very specific meaning. As far as our country is concerned, for several months we’ve been considerably increasing counter-terrorism resources. Several anti-terrorist laws have been passed, and I also pay tribute to all the groups of the nation’s elected representatives who, in order to protect our fellow citizens, have agreed to rise above conventional party politics so that we can come together to protect the French people.

Together we voted for a ban on leaving the country; together we voted to block websites that call for and incite terrorism; together we voted for the new criminal offence of individual terrorist enterprise; together we voted for the bills on the state of emergency and, a few days ago, secured another consensus vote from both assemblies to ensure that the protection of French people is maintained and strengthened. Together we assessed these measures, and I pay tribute to the President for the work done; thanks to this assessment, under Parliament’s oversight, policing measures such as searches and house arrests are enabling us to protect our country against terrorism.

In the framework of a Franco-German security initiative, Thomas de Maizière and I began work on some absolutely essential areas for the European Union’s security such as stepping up controls at the external borders, reforming the Schengen Information System, modifying Article 7-2 of the Schengen Borders Code in order to monitor entries to EU territory more effectively, implementing border controls in France since 13 November 2015, interlinking anti-terrorist databases and implementing a new directive on the fight against arms trafficking. Thanks to this assessment, which isn’t exhaustive, you can see that in recent months we’ve been constantly taking measures together in the EU to ensure French people are protected.

You ask me if we’re doing more today than yesterday, but for months we’ve been doing the maximum. I thank the Interior Minister, in the threat situation we’re experiencing, for sending the préfets¹ circulars recalling the measures we’re rolling out. They’re substantial: many of the domestic security forces and intelligence services are mobilized, as are most public security staff and nearly 70 riot police units, about 10 of them for border control and the rest for the fight against terrorism.

So I want the nation’s elected representatives, and through them the French people, to be well aware that this government and its European Union partners will act resolutely, with the utmost firmness and the utmost strength, without any let-up or pause, to combat terrorism. We’ll win this war on terrorism, because we uphold universal values in a climate of national cohesion and European unity./.

¹High-ranking civil servants representing the state at departmental or regional level.

Germany – Terrorist attack in Berlin – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 19 December 2016

The French President expresses his solidarity and sympathy to Chancellor Merkel, the German people and the families, after a lorry killed and injured many people in a Christmas market crowd in central Berlin.

The French people shares the German people’s grief in the face of this tragedy, which strikes at the whole of Europe./.

Germany – Terrorist attack in Berlin – Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Paris, 19 December 2016

I am horrified by reports from Berlin this evening that several people have been killed and many injured at a Christmas market.

My first thoughts go to the victims, their families and close friends.

France stands alongside Germany at this dark and painful time./.

Published on 09/01/2017

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