Remarks After His Meeting With French President Francois Hollande

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Elysee Paris, France
November 17, 2015

Well, thank you very much. Let me just say that I expressed the condolences of President Obama and the people of the United States to President Hollande, and I thanked him for the extraordinary response of the French people, the courage that they have exhibited. We talked about the significant steps that we believe we can take together in a number of different areas to increase our efforts and be more effective even against Daesh. And we already are doing that. President Hollande will be visiting Washington in a week. The presidents will meet; we’ll have further discussions. But we are absolutely committed to increasing our efforts in every degree possible, and thoughtfully, carefully.

My sense is that everybody understands that with Lebanon’s attacks, with what’s happened in Egypt, with Ankara, Turkey, with the attacks now in Paris, we have to step up our efforts to hit them at the core where they’re planning these things, and also, obviously, to do more on borders and in terms of the movement of people.

But the level of cooperation could not be higher. We’ve agreed even to exchange more information, and I’m convinced that over the course of the next weeks, Daesh will feel even greater pressure. They’re feeling it today. They felt it yesterday. They’ve felt it in the past weeks. We’ve gained more territory; Daesh has less territory. We’ve taken out leaders. We’ve liberated significant communities – Tikrit, Baiji refinery, communities in Syria, the – three-quarters of the border of northern Syria is now under the control, is taken away from Daesh. We will be working with Turkey to close the last portion.

So there is a clear strategy in place, and step by step, I am confident the momentum will pick up. So I thank you all and particularly, again, am confident that over the next days, Paris, which knows how to rebound, will do so. And I look forward to being back here for the COP21 with President Obama, and then I will stay for even longer. And I think that will be an important statement by the world that no one will interrupt the business of the global community – certainly not despicable, cowardly acts of terror.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.