Washington Special to News Talk Florida – Today is a move to strengthen the coalition against the Islamic State, President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande will discuss ways to confront the “scourge of terrorism” and coordinate the United States efforts to assist France’s probe into the Paris attacks.
“Obama and Hollande will consult and coordinate our efforts to assist France’s investigation into these attacks, discuss further cooperation as part of the 65-member counter-ISIS coalition, and reiterate our shared reiterate our shared determination to confront the scourge of terrorism,” the White House said in a statement ahead of the meeting.
The meeting will take place later today in the Oval Office of the White House with Vice President Joe Biden among others joining the conversation. After the meeting, the two leaders will announce their plans to fight terrorism at a joint news conference at the White House.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the meeting, but I also wouldn’t downplay the significance of additional expressions of solidarity and support,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
“This is a time when the French people are grieving. Knowing that they can count on the most powerful country in the world to have their back, as they determine what’s necessary to strengthen homeland security in their own country but also to take the fight to ISIL; I think that will be a source of significant comfort to the French people,” he said.
“We’ve also seen the French announce their willingness just in the last week to ramp up their contributions. We did see French military pilots carry out an additional round or two of airstrikes over Syria,” he said, adding that the White House welcomes the action.
Meanwhile at the Pentagon, United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will hold a meeting with his French counterpart. This would be their first meeting after the November 13th Paris attacks. The two countries have already decided to intensify their intelligence co-operation.