France looks for EU allies to support the fight against IS

Federica Mogherini.

The French Government has today (November 17) advised the EU that in accordance with Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty it wished to invoke the Union’s mutual defence clause in response to the Islamic State terror attacks on Paris

Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “France has asked for help and assistance from the European Union. And today all Europe united answers: yes”.

Spain’s Home Secretary, Jorge Fernández Díaz said whilst being interviewed on Spanish television on the same day, “Spain is not currently thinking of carrying out airstrikes in Syria”, although a spokesperson for the Spanish Home Office later said that its minister had only been expressing an opinion and any final decision lay with the Prime Minister.

At a press conference during the G20 meeting on November 16, Prime Minister Rajoy made no mention of Spanish aircraft joining the French over Syria, and said “At dinner yesterday no one talked about intensifying any air strikes on Syria, and I was there for the whole dinner”.

“I said that, in my opinion, right now, the first priority for combatting terrorism is solving the problem of Syria and the first priority for solving the refugee problem is also solving the issue of Syria.”

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