EU Defence Ministers ready to assist France after Paris Attacks

Foreign Affairs Council (Defence)Foreign Affairs Council (Defence)

The Defence Ministers of the European Union, gathered in Brussels for the Foreign Affairs council chaired by HRVP Federica Mogherini, unanimously supported the request of aid and assistance to France, after the attacks in Paris.

"Aujourd'hui la France demande l'aide et l'assistance de toute l'Europe. Et aujourd'hui, toute l'Europe, unie, répond oui,"  said Mogherini speaking to the press together with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. "France has requested aid and assistance in accordance with article 42.7 of the Treaties. Today, the European Union, through the voices of all the Defence Ministers of all the EU Member States, unanimously expressed its strongest full support and readiness to provide all the aid and assistance required and needed" said the HRVP.

It is the first time that a member state requests assistance under Article 42.7 of the Treaties which reads:  "If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States."

"Many ministers today have already announced offers of support through material assistance as well as through announced support in other theatres, thus enabling to free up additional French capabilities. France will be in contact bilaterally with Member States in the coming hours and days to specify the support it requires. And the European Union will ensure the greatest effectiveness in our common response", underlined Mogherini. "This does not imply EU CSDP mission or operation. This calls for aid and assistance bilaterally and the European Union can facilitate this and coordinate this, whenever and however it is useful and necessary."

French Minister Le Drian added: "I felt a lot sympathy and compassion from my colleagues, many of them expressed it in French. I also appreciated that all the members remarked that it's not just France, but Europe that has been attacked and that we are all French in this time."

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