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Kerry, in Paris, says world must hit Islamic State at its core

US secretary of state calls for redoubled efforts against jihadist group behind deadly attacks in France

US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters following his meeting with the French President at the Elysee palace in Paris on November 17, 2015 (Photo by AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)
US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters following his meeting with the French President at the Elysee palace in Paris on November 17, 2015 (Photo by AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

PARIS (AP) — The civilized world must boost its efforts to combat the Islamic State by going after the group at its core, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, as he met in Paris with President Francois Hollande to show solidarity with France in the wake of last week’s attacks.

Standing with Hollande at the Elysee Palace, Kerry said the deadly strikes in the French capital on Friday, along with recent attacks in Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey made it clear that more pressure must be brought to bear on the Islamic extremists.

“My sense is everybody understands that with Lebanon’s attacks, with what’s happened in Egypt, with Ankara, Turkey and attacks 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 in terms the movement of people,” Kerry said. “The level of cooperation could not be higher. We agreed to exchange more information and I’m convinced that over the course of the next weeks, (the Islamic State)will feel greater pressure.”

French President Francois Hollande greets US Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival for their talks at the Elysee palace in Paris on November 17, 2015. (Photo by AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)
French President Francois Hollande greets US Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival for their talks at the Elysee palace in Paris on November 17, 2015. (Photo by AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

Hollande plans to visit Washington within the next week to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss further cooperation on fighting terrorism and dealing with the crisis in Syria, which has served as the incubator for the Islamic State movement.

Before seeing Hollande, Kerry met with diplomats from the US Embassy in Paris to thank them for their service.

He told embassy staffers that the bonds between the United States and France are stronger than ever and that Friday’s attacks were an assault on civilization and common decency.

“This is just raw terror,” he said, vowing that the campaign against the Islamic State group will succeed. “We will end the scourge of Daesh,” he said, referring to the group by its Arabic acronym.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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