tv Eyewitness News at Noon ABC November 24, 2015 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
speak english. he's expected to speak in please be seated. president hollande, it's been an honor to welcome you to the white house before. in happier times than this. as americans, we stand by our friends. in good times and in bad. no matter what. so on behalf of the american people, i want to once again express our deepest condolences to you, and all of the people of france, for the heinous attacks that took place in paris. we're here today to declare that stand united. in total solidarity. to deliver justice to the
terrorists and those who sent them. and to defend our nations. in that spirit, with heavy but strong hearts, i welcome you here today. francois, with your understanding, my statement today will be a little longer today than usual. i've been traveling. and, this is an important moment for hour nations and the world. this barbaric terrorist group, isil or dash, in its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us. it must be destroyed. we must do it together. this is the unity of purpose that brings us here today. on your visit here last year, you said that the french love america. now we love the french. sometimes, we americans are too
but we're not feeling shy today. the americans love france because we dedicate ourselves to the same ideals. that all people deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. france is our oldest ally. you helped us win our independence. we helped liberate france from fascism. we oh our freedom to each other. we love france for your spirit. and your culture. your joi devivre. americans have recommended our own visits to paris. we know these places. they're part of our memories. woven into the fabric of our lives and our culture. i'm very grateful for the french people tapped hop tallty they have always shown me and when
they welcomed michelle and our daughters on their first visit to the city of lights. by my bed, in the residence is a picture of me and michelle in luxembourg gardens, kissing. of paris. as early on, i have no gray hair. so when tragedy struck that evening, our hearts broke, too. that stadium and concert hall, those restaurants and cafes, we see our own. in the faces of the french people, we see ourselves. that's why so many americans have embraced the blue, white, and red. why americans at candle light vigils have joined together to sing the marseilles. we have never forgotten how the french people stood with us after 9/11. and today, we stand with you.
[ speaking french ] it's been noted that the terrorists did not direct their attacks against the french government or military. rather they focused their violence on the very spirit of france. by extension, on all liberal democracies. this was an attack on our free and open societies. where people come together to celebrate. and sing. and compete. and targeting venues where people come together from around the world, killing citizens of nearly 20 countries, including america. this was an take on the very idea that people of different races and religions and backgrounds can live together in peace. in short, this was not only a strike against one of the world's great cities. it was an take against the world itself. it's the same madness that has
nigeria to the sighnai from lebanon to iraq. it's a scourge that threatens all of us. that's why, for more than a year, the united states, france, and our coalition of some 65 nations have been united in one mission. to destroy these isil terrorists and defeat their vile ideology. today, president hollande and i reviewed our coalition's progress. more than 8,000 air strikes combined with local partners on the ground, have pushed isil back from territory in both iraq and syria. today, president hollande and i agreed our nations must do even more together. u.s. assistance that has supported recent french strikes in syria. and we're going to keep stepping up that coordination. and as we saw, with the attack
goes beyond isil. this week, i'll sign legislation to sustain our support, including air sport and intelligence to countries like france. as rewoot out terrorist networks. we'll do more to prevent attacks at home. building on our recent intelligence agreement, we'll share information with france and in the wake of paris and with the threats in belgium, there's a fwroeing recognition among european nations that they need to ramp up efforts to proe vent the flow of foreign fighters. as part of that, i'm calling on the european union to finally implement the agreement long in the works that would require airlines to share passenger information, so we can do more to stop foreign terrorist fighters from entering our countries undetected. i'm prepared to send team of experts to work on this with our
together. regarding the broader crisis in syria. president hollande and i agree that russia's strikes against the moderate opposition only bolster the assad regime. we agree russia could play a more constructive role if it were to shift the focus of its strike to defeating isil. and like wise, president hollande and i free the best way to bring peace is through the principles reafrmed in vie yeen that. they require an active support of peace from russia. finally, francois and i understand that one of our greatest weapons in the fight against isil is the strength and
resilience of our people. and here i want to speak correctlycorrect ly -- directly to the american people. what happened in paris is truly horrific. i understand that people worried that something similar could happen here. i want you to know that we will continue to do power to defend our nation. since 9/11, we have taken extraordinary measures to strengthen security. our professionals, federal, state, and local, they are tireless. they have prevented attacks and have saved lives. they are working every hour, every day for our security. they did so before paris. they do so now. and they will not stop. they're the best in the world.
but it's not just our security professionals who will defeat isil and other terrorist groups. as americans, we all have a role to play manyin how we respond to threats. groups like isil cannot defeat us on the battlefield. so they try to terrorize us at home. against soft targets, intercept people. even as we're vigilant, we cannot and we will not succumb to fear. nor can we allow fear to divide us. that's how terrorists win. we cannot give them the victory of changing how we go about living our lives. the good news is, americans are resilient. we mourned the lives lost at ft. hood. the boston marathon.
chattanooga. but we did not waver. our communities have come together. we have gone to ball games and we have gone to concerts and shopping and men and women who want to serve our country continue to go to military recruiting offices. we're vigilant. we take precautions. we go about our business. to those who want to harm us, our actions have shown that we have too much resolve and too much character. americans will not be terrorized. i say all this because another part of being vigilant, another part of defeating terrorists like isil is upholding the the rights and freedoms that define our two great republics. that includes freedom of re religion religion. equality before the law.
there have been times in our history in moments of fear when we have failed to uphold our highest ideals. and it has been to our lasting regret. we must uphold our ideals now. each of us. all of us. must show that america is strengthened by people of every faith and every back ground. related to this, i want to note that under president hollande france plans to welcome another 30,000 syrian refugees over the next two years. here in the united states, refugees in america go through up to two years of intense security check, including biometric screening. nobody who sets foot in america goes through more screening than refugees. we're prepared to share the tools with france and our
european partners. as francois has said, our humanitarian duty to help refugees and our duty to security, they go hand this hand. on the statue of liberty, a gift from the people of france, there are words we know so well. give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free. that's the spirit that makes us america. that's the spirit that binds us to france. that's the spirit we need today. in closing, i want to salute the people of paris for showing the world how to stay strong in the face of terrorism.
have continued to go to places. cafes, to work. riding the subways. including a mother who brought her children to the plaza de republique. as one said, paris will always be paris. next week, i will be joining president hollande and world leaders in paris for the global climate conference. what a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children. so, president hollande, my fellow americans, let's remember we face greater threats to our way of life before. fascism fascism, communism.
a cold war. even and each and every time, we prevailed. we have prevailed because our way of life is stronger. because we stay united. because even as we are relentless in the face of evil, we draw on what's best in ourselves. and in the character of our countries. it will be no different this time. make no mistake, we will win. and groups like isil will lose. and standing with allies like france, we'll continue to show the world the best of american leadership. vive la france. god bless the united states of america. mr. president. >> translator: ladies and gentlemen, please allow me first
and foremost to thank the president of the united states, barack obama, for the solidarity he's shown. immediately as we found out about the terror attacks. he was the first one to call me. it was very late. in france. 2:00 a.m. when barack called. the president of the united states. how he expressed his solidarity toward france, his emotion, his compassion against the horror. and -- on that night, he meant to tell me that the united states stood by france. that the help that could be provided to france would have no limits and that we had a duty, a joint duty, to pull our forces
i do not forget either all of the messages that the american people sent to the french people over the past few days. the french colors, the french flags, all abound in many gatherings. these candles in places that represent france here in the united states. the marseilles, our national anthem sung in official ceremonies. it is true that 9/11 we all felt americans. but after the 13th of november, americans felt french. our two peoples, together, merged as one. sharing the same emotion. and also the same willingness to fight for freedom, to stand for
we are not two similar peoples. we each have our own history. we have our own culture, background. but, we share the same trust. the same faith in freedom. it is france that came under attack on the 13th of november. france, for what it is, a country which we consider unique in the world because france speaks to the world. france came under attack for what it represents, for what it stands for. for its culture. a way of living. as well as our values. our principles. but by targeting france, the terrorists, the cowardly murders who are
against isil and the russia fully commits to political -- if russia fully commits to political solution in syria. this is what we want to do. we want to gather all countries, all those who are willing to find a political solution in syria. we don't want to exclude anyone but we want to make sure that the political solution can eradicate terrorism. lastly, next week, that is on monday, we will be hosting in paris a climate conference. i certainly could not imagine that this conference would be taking place against such a background. at the same time, asking there can not be any better symbol or response but to hold the
conference in paris where the attacks took place, where we took the right measures in terms of security, protections as well as defending all values. . there's no greater symbol than holding the conference on climate in paris with some 150 heads of state in government. never before did france host so many leaders of the international community. they're coming to take up the climate challenge and again to work and to find the right agreement so that we can limit greenhouse gases emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better or simply can live. but they are also coming to
freedom, to the fight against extremism. that radical islam which is becoming dangerous. yes, all of them are coming, no matter their background, no matter their religion, their convictions, to express the with the same word-life. yes, simply life. and this is the reason why i'm very pleased at president obama will allow us to succeed. i commend his recent statements that for the past few weeks and months but i also commend the commitment he's made in the name of the united states as well as in the name of the world. it was very important that one of the most powerful countries
powerful and therefore with the highest level of emissions, could also be there to face the future like we've been facing history. what we'll be doing early next week in paris means that we can continue to live as well as protect our lives and prepare that of all children. friends in the united states and even their history and the values the founding values of both our nations given -- we both have that duty to act as a matter of urgency. urgently against terrorism and against daesh and at the same time, to prepare for the future. against that background, even though it is a very dire one,
i'm pleased to be with barack obama to send across that message to the entire world. thank you. >> thank you. >> we've got time for a few questions and i'm going to start with roberta ramttons of reuters. >> thank you, this is a question for both of you. first, what is your reaction to turkey shooting down a russian plane today and does this draw nato into a confrontation russia? how do you keep this from spiraling out of control and president on, what does this incident -- obama, what does this incident mean for future prospects of more military coordination with russia and president hollande, ahead of your trip to moscow on thursday, what are the prospects for closer military coordination with russia given what happened today? >> well, first of all, we're still getting the details of
and i expect to be in communications potentially directly with president erdouan days. turkey like every country has a right to defend its territory and its air space. i think it's very important right now for us to make sure that both the russians and the turks are talking to each other. find out exactly what happened. and take measures to discourage any kind of escalation. i do think that this points to a ongoing problem with the russian operations in the sense that they are operating very close to a turkish border and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only turkey, but a wide range of countries.
and the russia is direct -- if russia is directing its energies to daesh and isil, some of the conflicts and potentials for mistakes or escalation are less likely to occur. i also think this underscores the poshes of us making sure that -- importance of us making sure that we move this political track forward as quickly as possible. like president hollande, our view from the start has been that russia is welcome to be part of this broad based coalition that we've set up. there's never been a point in time in which we said that we don't want russia or other countries that may have differences with us on a whole host of other things, to avoid working with us against isil. the challenge has been russia's focus on propping up assad rather than focusing on isil.
president putin in turkey and i indicated to him at the time that to the extent that they'd make that strategic shift focus on the vienna process where they have been constructive to try to bring all the parties together. try to execute a political transition that all parties would agree to. and refocus attention on going after isil. then there's enormous capacity for us to cooperate. until that happens, it's very difficult. it's difficult because if their priority is attacking the moderate opposition that might be future members of an inclusive syrian government, russia is not going to get the support of us or a range of ore mens -- other members of the coalition. but i do think that there's the
the sooner we agree to this political process, the less likely that you have you know the kinds of -- kinds of events that took place apparently today. >> the event that took place is a serious one and we can only regret it. turkey is currently providing all of the information to nato so that we can find out what really happened. and whether turkey's air space indeed was entered into. but we must prevent an escalation that would be extremely damageable. the only purpose is to fight
this is what we must do. all of us. we, turkey, russia, and what just took place like barack said means that we must find a solution to the syrian crisis because we can see what the risks are otherwise. the risks of escalation. therefore i will be traveling to russia this week because we have this resolution of the security council and it does show that we must take action against daesh, against terrorism. that resolution has been voted the broadest possible coalition. then i will ask president putin -- asked him before what
times already, that the strikes must be against daesh. against terrorism. and those who precisely there threatening -- are threatening us. they're threatening the russians like ourselves in europe. like france that was targeted over the past two days. we must therefore coordinate ourselves, but on that basis and make sure that we're all acting against daesh and that we are part of the political process. one that must lead to the solution and we all know what indeed the parameters of the solution are or or not. we know -- are not. we know that there's a bed lock today. lastly, i mentioned the charles de gaulle aircraft carrier
as a matter of fact there are also some russian forces and therefore agreed with president putin that we must share our in coordination. we must not try to control it ourselves and it's already the case and will continue to do so. >> mr. president, the americans have some special forces in beyond what's happening, are you going to send some special forces as well to syria? are you considering some ground intervention there? mr. president, beyond the emotion that we can feel here, beyond this beautiful statements, for more than a year, we've heard all of you saying that assad must go. that political transition is necessary in syria. mr. president, can you today
specific date a deadline for assad to go? >> i heard the translation, you said president. [ laughter ] okay. >> i will not provide you with a date. because it must be as soon as possible. that is one of the requirements for a solution to be found. but at the same time, allow me the underline -- to underline something. there is a new mindset now. the crisis in syria has been ongoing for four years. four years. they're probably more than
300,000 deaths that -- and this is not just relevant to the countries of the region. which are hosting the refugees. it is relevant to injury and the world -- europe can the entire world now without issue of refugees. and those who believe that we could wait some more and that in any case it was far away may now realize that we have an influx of refugees that the terrorists, the risk is everywhere. due to daesh. we therefore must act. you also asked me what we were going to do. what more? we're willing to intensify the strikes, we will have some more specific targets to make sure that d aesh resources, their
means, are cut off. and including their command centers, the trucks carrying oil, the training centers where they prepare terror attacks. we will continue and we will intensify our strikes at the heart of the cities which are currently in the hands of daesh. france will not intervene militarily on the ground. it is for the local forces to do so. we've been supporting them for number of months and we will continue to do so and they will do the job on the ground after we -- after our strikes that will enable them to do so. but france will -- take its speedometers regard -- speedometers regarding that -- responsibilities regarding that support which is absolutely necessary. >> let me just make a couple of broader comments about the operations against isil.
as was already indicated. we've taken thousands of strikes. taken thousands of isil fighters including top commanders and leaders off the battlefield. we have squeezed their supply lines, we have empowered and armed local groups that are pushing against them including most recently in sinjar. we're providing training and assistance to the iraqi as they prepare to retake places like ramadi that have been overrun. we've seen some success. but the question now is how can we accelerate it? and in fact even before the tragedy in paris, i had gattrd together my national -- gathered together my national forces, it has been a year, to review where we had made progress and what worked and what did not and put together a
plan to accelerate and advance the pressure that we can place on isil. and we intend to execute on those plans. but we also think as hollande says there may be new openness on the part of other coalition members to help resource and provide additional assistance both to the coalition as a whole and to local forces on ground t ground. with respect to -- the ground. with respect to mr. assad, i think we have to let the vienna process play itself out. it's our best opportunity. and so you know, the notion that there would be an immediate date in advance of us getting a broad agreement on that political process and the details i think doesn't make sense. as soon as we have a framework for political transition
i think it's in that context that we can start looking at mr. assad choosing not to run. and potentially seeing a new syria emerge. but it's going to be hard. and we should not be under any illusions. syria has broken down. it began to break down the moment that mr. assad started killing indiscriminately his own people. isil was able to move into raqqa in part because of a thorough rejection on the part of many syrians of the outside regime. and the power vacuum emerged. and it is going to be a difficult, long methodical process to bring back together
various factions within syria to maintain a syrian state and institutions. and to create the kind of stability that allows people to start coming back in and rebuilding their lives. but it's possible. and the urgency that we've seen even before paris out of countries like russia indicate that they recognized they can't be there too long and ultimately win military battle olivia knox. yeah -- >> thank you mr. president. mr. holland. mr. president, could you tell us whether the russian plane did in fact breach turkish air space and given the fury of the russian response on economic and diplomatic fronts, how concerned are you there might
>> and mr. president regarding the measures i announced today when it comes to strengthening the corporation on military intelligence and others, have they been taken months or weeks ago, do you think they would have prevented the terror attacks that took place in paris and will enable us to prevent more terror attacks? >> we don't have all the information yet so i don't want to except on the specifics. -- comment on the specifics, we will be gathering that information and i'm sure the russians will have some information and we'll be able to confirm what happened in part through our own intelligence and our own tracking of that border area. now as holland indicated, my top priority is going to be to ensure that this does not escalate. and hopefully this is a moment in which all parties can step back and make a determination
best served. the russians had several hundred people of their own killed by isil. and the flow of foreign fighters out of russian areas into syria poses an enormous long-term threat to russian territory. so there is a potential convergence of interests between the various parties. it requires us working with them to make the kind of strategic shift that is necessary. and then frankly i talked to putin about it for five now. it requires a recognition that the existing structure cannot gain the legitimacy to stop the war and until you stop the war, you're going to have a vacuum in which these kinds of terrorist organizations cannot
break more effectively. let me say one last thing because i tracked the question that you posed to president hollande about what could or could not have been prevented. all of our intelligence personnel here in the united states, across the atlantic, work tirelessly as i said earlier. to disrupt plots and prevent terrorist attacks. the vast majority of their successes in disresulting plots are not -- disrupting plots are not advertised. you never hear about them. dedication of those enforcement and military professionals, this would be a much more dangerous world. so you have to be careful about the speck hating about what -- speculating and what if and
situation like this. because it's you have eight individuals with light weapons. that's hard -- that's a hard thing to track. what is true though is that we can do a better job of coordinating between countries then. and i've been talking to our european partners for quite some time now about the need for better intelligence sharing and passenger name records, working to ensure that you know, when people enter into europe, particularly now, that the investigation across various -- information across various borders is shared on a timely basis and you have biometric information and other technologies that can make it more accurate. it doesn't mean it's always going to be 100% foolproof but we can do better on those
and you know, one of the challenges has been frankly in the past several years that you have different legal traditions, concerns about privacy and civil liberties. all of which are entirely legitimate. i don't think those can be ignored now. because that's part of the -- those are part of the values that we -- that make us who we are and that we have to adhere to. but i do think that you know, this is a reminder that this is -- a dangerous world. and rooting out small bands of terrorist groups who maintain good operational security and are using modern technologies in ways that are hard to track, that's a tough job. and we're all going to have to pool our resources much more effectively together than we
have in the past. and i think when hollande goes back to europe, his leadership, the leadership of other presidents and prime ministers around this issue is going to be as important as anything that we do. >> allow me to go back to what daesh truly is. it is somehow an organization, a terrorist group, occupying a territory in iraq and syria. killing and they want to enforce rules that disenamors humanity. -- dishonors humanity. this is what daesh is doing
trying to do in other countries everywhere -- [ inaudible ] . then we have to deal with the number of networks more or less organized in the number of countries that are being used to lead terror attacks. paris. flush flush we know that this -- we know that this dreadful plan was prepared in syria. and then organized in a number of countries and there are also some accomplices in france given that some of the terrorists are french. those who committed these acts of war.
terrorism, we must act not only to destroy daesh and iraq and syria but we must also dismantle and destroy the networks how can we proceed? well, first of all militarily, by intensifying our strikes, by taking back these territories thanks to the local forces on the ground which we can support by finding political solution in syria by making sure that the territorial integrity of iraq is -- this is what we can do. then when it comes to protection measures, to protect our territory and our people, this is what i announced in france and this is what we have to do to eradicate these networks and all of these accomplices and those who are present. some of them just arrived.
others have been there for a listening time. -- long time. and they are not necessarily identified as a threat. it is therefore necessary that we venten yet for -- strengthen yet our corporation in term of intelligence. the paris attacks generated a lot of emotion but that's not enough. compassion, solidarity, and i take note of it but we must act and for a number of days now, i've been trying to convince, convincing all the countries that can act to do so, i met with david cameron yesterday. he announced that he would take a number of measures to his parliament that is important. today i'm here with barack so that we can act with greater
well. tomorrow i will be hosting german chancellor angela merkel so that european countries including germany can face up to their responsibilities including in terms of military -- intelligence. and police cooperation. and maybe more. and we will also travel to moscow to about russia can take action against daesh and on the -- army against daesh. and then i will receive the head of the italian government. and we'll also have an opportunity to talk to all of the european leaders given that european council together with turkey will be held on sunday. so it is all of that that must
get together and enable us to implement coordination, cooperation and interaction so that we can act on the source d aesh and neuse. it is that strength that will enable us to succeed. a question. both of you today have talked about against daesh. does it mean that the single co-likes which you mentioned last week, president hollande is gone? that sit inconceivable to have the russians and americans to work together under a single command? and then, bah shash al assad, you said you could not put a date on his departure. does that mean his departure is not a reprerequisite? >> translator: i believe that the resolution approved by all
of the security council enables us to say that now, the entire world is committed to fighting against daesh. then, and this is what i will check when i travel to moscow, we need one single goal. that is to tackle terrorism. and fight against daesh. militarily. and i believe that we can have some further cooperation and coordination militarily to do more. at the same time, we have to be clear when it comes to the political solution. the one that will enable us to find -- and we suspect, like we have said, we can repeat it, bashar al assad cannot be the future of syria. in vienna, we are working with all of the countries. etch though they do not necessarily have the same --
turkey, iran, the united states, france. and of course, all of those who are meant to find a solution. we must work on that transition. a transition where bashar al assad plays no role. because he's been the problem. so he cannot be the solution. >> just to comment very quickly. we've got a coalition. of 65 countries. who have been active. in pushing back against isil for quite some time. perhaps the france has been a central part of that coalition. as have european countries. arab countries. countries as far flung as australia and countries in
southeast asia are part of that coalition. russia right now is a coalition of two. iran and russia. supporting assad. given russia's military capabilities and given the influence they have on the assad regime regime, them koorpcooperating would be enormously helpful in bringing about the resolution of the war in syria and allow us all to refocus our attention on isil. i think it's important to remember that you've got a global coalition organized. russia is the outlier. we hope that they refocus their attention on what is the most substantial threat.
constructive partner. and if and when they do, it will make it easier for us to go after isil and daesh. though i think it is important to recognize that -- the kinds of air strikes that they're carrying out, like the ones we're carrying out, in and of themselves are not sufficient. the work we do to bolster local fighting forces, the cutting off of supply lines, financing, oil, reducing the flow of foreign fighters. the intelligence work that needs to be done, all that is something that we're doing now and that they can supplement. but, that's going to be a process that involves hard, methodical work.