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Foreign Minister Steinmeier on military support for France in the fight against ISIL

26.11.2015

Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 26 November on the offer of military support to France in the fight against ISIL:

For the second time this year, France has been struck by horrific attacks. More than 130 people lost their lives in these attacks in Paris on 13 November.

We expressed not just our condolences but also our solidarity.

Yesterday in his talks with the Federal Chancellor, the French President asked for assistance in the fight against terrorism.

We all know that terrorism will not defeated by military means alone. That is why we are working on a political process which had an encouraging start recently in Vienna.

But we will not be able to avoid military confrontation with ISIL, with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups in Syria. Thus we pledged to look carefully at this request for assistance. We know there are expectations particularly in the fields of reconnaissance and flight logistics. Minister von der Leyen will outline that in a moment.

We pledged support and I believe it would be the wrong gesture to fail to retain credibility – and credibility means that we actually make available what we can and what we can politically justify on the basis of the legislation of our country and international law.

Just a few days ago, the United Nations Security Council declared ISIL and al-Nusra to be a threat to international peace and security and called on all countries to use the means at their disposal to restrict the activities of ISIL and al-Nusra and to push ISIL and al-Nusra back from the territories in which they have gained a foothold. Thus we consider ourselves to be on firm ground under domestic and international law with the help we are making available and can make available to France.

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