Foreign Minister Steinmeier on Germany’s support for France

19.11.2015 - Press release

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave the following statement on 19 November on the margins of his visit to Maputo:

France has our full support, both in the fight against ISIS and in protecting the public from Islamist terrorism.

It is important to express solidarity, but words are not enough.

President Hollande and the French Government have already outlined what they believe we now need to do. Working side by side with France, Germany can make rapid progress on many points.

France has already taken on great responsibility in the fight against terrorism in Africa. We are very grateful to France for pushing back the Islamists in Mali and stabilising the country. Germany can help to reduce this burden on France by expanding its role in the UN mission MINUSMA. Planning for this is well under way.

We urgently need to reinforce the Schengen system through effective protection of Europe’s external borders. We need to regain active control in the fight against Islamist terrorism, in dealing with the flows of refugees, in identifying fighters returning from Syria, and in registering and distributing refugees. We need to strengthen Frontex on the institutional, financial and staffing levels and to expand it into an operational, integrated and fully effective border-control agency. This is overdue, and we must now start working on it without delay.

In my view, our solidarity with Paris includes creating ways to give the security authorities better access to information on the movements of extremists towards and in Europe. With this in mind we should therefore play an active role in talks on European regulations on the storage of air passenger data.

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