More than a million people and dozens of world leaders attended the unity march through French Capital on Sunday in a historic display of global defiance against extremism after Islamist attacks that left 17 dead.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis also joined the solidarity march in Paris. Before the rally, he met the French President, Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker EP President Martin Schulz, as well as other European leaders.
President Klaus Iohannis said on Sunday evening after returning from Paris that the solidarity march was not only one of the French solidarity but of the international unity.
“It was a sign of our determination to fight against terrorism and against extremism of any kind. I had the opportunity to talk to many international leaders. I talked to Chancellor Angela Merkel, with EC President Jean Claude Juncker, with the European Council President, Donald Tusk, with the Dutch and Israeli prime ministers, with the Ukrainian President and with many others.
I thank the France’s President for his invitation and welcome. I am glad I could stand by him in these difficult circumstances for the French nation. I thank him for the special attention that he paid to the messages and solidarity expressed on behalf of the Romanian people,” the Romanian President said.
Iohannis’ spokesperson, Tatiana Niculescu Bran also wrote in a Facebook post that Hollande thanked the Romanian head of state for his presence at the march as well as for the solidarity shown in the first hours after the terror attack. Niculescu Bran also stated that Klaus Iohannis “assured France’s President of all support and fraternity of the Romanian people.”
“Our thoughts and hearts have been next to the French citizens since the beginning of these attacks. My presence along with other heads of state and government in Paris will give a steadfast response of Romania’s willingness to get involved in the fight against terrorism and against extremism of any kind”, Iohannis had previously said in a message issued on Saturday.
Iohannis added that the large event that was to take place in Paris is not only a condemnation of the attack over Charlie Hebdo newsroom, but also a condemnation of anti-Semitism.
In his turn, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta hailed the fact that Romania will be highly represented at the Paris solidarity march. Explaining his absence, Ponta said that, as the President is going, “too many representatives would have been a little unnatural.”
The leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority both attended the rally to honour the recent terror attacks’ victims that claimed lives of Jews and of a Muslim police officer. Among other leaders attending the unprecedented rally there is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the prime minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy, Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi, UK PM David Cameron, the prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the European Council President Donald Tusk.
‘Today, Paris is the Capital of the world,” French President François Hollande told the government’s members rejoined at Elysée, before the march.
Security was beefed up in Paris, with more than 5,500 thousand of extra troops and police deployed to guard the march and snipers positioned along the route, as French Interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve informed.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, more than 700,000 people took the streets of cities across France on Saturday, many carrying banners reading “jesuischarlie” (I am Charlie), the tribute to Charlie Hebdo that has been the global rallying point in the wake of the slaughter.
European Interior ministers urge reinforcement of EU outer borders controls
EU, US and Canadian Interios ministers met Sunday at Paris’s Elysee Palace, calling for a strengthening of controls at the EU’s external borders and also for the European sharing of airline passenger data, as it was backed by the new Polish EU President Donald Tusk shortly after terror attacks in France.
Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told the daily El Pais ahead of a Sunday morning ministerial meeting on the subject in Paris that Spain wants to see the Schengen treaty modified to allow border controls to be restored to limit the movements of Islamic fighters returning to Europe from the Middle East.
At the same time, Belgian Interior minister Jan Jambon called for a European list of “foreign fighters” who are joining Jihad.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said ministers at Sunday’s Paris meeting also concluded that it was “essential” for Internet companies to cooperate in tackling terrorism.
“We forcefully noted the need for greater cooperation with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and removal of illegal content, particularly content that makes apologies for terrorism or promotes violence or hate,” Cazeneuve said, as Deutsche Welle reports.