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France

Hollande calls on French to show "perseverance, unity"

media French President Francois Hollande speaks before an extraordinary congress in Versailles on 16 November Elysée

French President François Hollande called on the country's citizens to show perseverance and unity as he outlined a number of steps that the country plans to take in the wake of the 13 November terrorist attacks in Paris. His comments came during a rare address to the upper and lower houses of parliament at an extraordinary congress late Monday afternoon in Versailles.

In a speech broadcast live on French television, French President François Hollande addressed 577 MPs and 326 senators, outlining the country’s planned response to the 13 November attacks in Paris.

He called on the country's citizens to show "perseverence" and "unity" in the wake of the worst-ever terrorist attack on French soil. Noting the attacks had an international dimension that called for a global response, Hollande said the victims of these attacks represented nine nationalities.

The French president said France was "at war" and that moving forward, France would intensify its operations in Syria with "cold determination". He said France's resolve has been strengthened to crush the Islamic State, the group which claimed responsibility for Friday's deadly attacks in Paris.

At the same time Hollande announced plans to strengthen the country's judiciary and security sector forces. Among the concrete plans he detailed, he said 2,500 new positions would be created within the French ministry of justice and that the country's legal and police services would see 8,500 new jobs.

Moreover the French president called for constitutional change, saying it was necessary to help fight terrorism. He said the French parliament will now debate whether to extend the current state of emergency for up to three months.

Referring to terrorists and others involved in terrorist activity, he said France must not allow "barbarians" to have any power and said it was France's duty to eliminate the threat, for now and for coming generations.

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