A meeting of world leaders to tackle climate change next week will prove the world’s mettle in the face of terrorist threats, President Obama said Tuesday.
“What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one,” he said, “and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”
Eleven days after deadly terrorist attacks ravaged Paris, Obama met with French President Francois Hollande at the White House to reaffirm the two nations’ solidarity in the campaign against the Islamic State, the terrorist organization that claimed responsibility for the strike.
The Islamic State “poses a serious threat to all of us,” Obama said. “It cannot be tolerated, and it must be destroyed, and we must do it together.”
Hinting at opposition—from both Republicans and Democrats—to allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in the U.S., Obama praised France’s move to welcome 30,000 additional refugees into the country over the next two years. And he implied that the U.S. should follow France’s model of “humanitarian duty.”
“Another part of being vigilant, another part of defeating terrorists like ISIL is upholding the rights and freedoms that define our two great republics,” he said, using another name for the terrorist group. “And that includes freedom of religion. That includes 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.”