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French President Francois Hollande urges U.S., Russia to join coalition to fight ISIS

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Image 0French President Francois Hollande called on the United States and Russia to join a global coalition to destroy ISIS in the wake of the attacks across Paris, and announced a wave of measures to combat terror in France.

“France is at war," Hollande told a joint session of Parliament at the Palace of Versailles on Monday, promising to increase funds for national security and strengthen anti-terror laws in response to the suicide bombings and shootings that killed 129.

“We're not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world," he told a packed, somber chamber.

Parliamentarians gave Hollande a standing ovation before spontaneously singing the “Marseillaise" national anthem in a show of political unity following the worst atrocity France has seen since World War II.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday's coordinated attacks, saying they were in retaliation for France's involvement in U.S.-backed airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Hollande pledged that French fighter jets would intensify their assaults and said he would meet President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days to urge them to pool their resources.

“We must combine our forces to achieve a result that is already too late in coming," Hollande said.

The U.S.-led coalition has been bombing ISIS for more than a year. Russia joined the conflict in September, but Western officials say it has mainly hit foreign-backed fighters battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, not the Islamic State.

Secretary of State Kerry arrived in Paris late Monday to pay respects to those killed in the attacks and stress Washington's support for the toughened French stance. He is due to meet Hollande on Tuesday morning.

On photo: President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk at the G20 Summit on Monday.

Source: On photo: President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk at the G20 Summit on Monday.

November 17 2015, 16:01

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