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France calls for EU help following Paris attacks

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/17/paris-terror-attacks-french-police-launch-fresh-raids-overnight-live

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The French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has made a formal request for help from his country’s EU partners, the first time the mutual assistance article in the European Union’s treaty has been invoked.

“In Brussels, I have just invoked Article 42.7,” he tweeted at the EU defence ministers meeting.

The EU’s Lisbon treaty says that in the case of a “armed aggression” EU countries have “an obligation of aid and assistance by all means in their power”.

 

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French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said EU partners could help “either by taking part in France’s operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations.”

“France cannot act alone in these theatres,” Le Drian told fellow EU defence ministers during a meeting in Brussels, according to aides.

France is the first nation to invoke article 42-7 in the treaty, which requires all states to offer aid and assistance “as they are able.”

 

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Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister, delivered the demand at a meeting in Brussels of EU defence ministers and the call was backed unanimously, although it remains unclear what it will ultimately entail.

“It’s a political act, a political message,” said Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign and security policy coordinator.

Each member state would contribute to helping France in line with their capabilities and foreign policies, she added. T

he details would be developed in a set of bilateral talks between national governments and France.

Le Drian admitted that the emergency security measures being taken in France following Friday’s atrocities meant that the country was overstretched and over-exposed through its operations in the Sahel and Lebanon as well as in the fight against IS in Syria and Iraq.

“France can’t do everything. It can’t act alone,” he said.

“Every country said I am going to help you. That can take different forms.”

 

 

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