• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris terror attacks
'We'll do all we can to help France': Germany
Soldiers from the Bundeswehr (German army) on exercise in 2014. Photo: DPA

'We'll do all we can to help France': Germany

AFP/DPA/The Local · 17 Nov 2015, 15:20

Published: 17 Nov 2015 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2015 15:20 GMT+01:00

"It goes without saying that we will do everything in our power to provide help and support," von der Leyen said before an EU defence ministers' meeting in Brussels.

"We will listen very exactly to what France has to say and also analyse carefully what France is asking for."

But the German defence minister stopped short of pledging military support to its Gallic neighbour.

"Strategy will have to be thought through, things will have to be done differently," in the fight against Isis, MP and Social Democratic Party (SPD) defence spokesman Rainer Arnold told The Local.

He added that Germany might send more military aid to northern Iraq, where troops from the Bundeswehr (German army) are training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to use German-made weapons in the fight against Isis.

But the decision to call for military aid under the EU treaties was more "symbolic and political," than "concrete", Arnold said, and would likely not see German fighter aircraft or ground troops sent overseas.

"We must have understanding for France as a society in mourning, but react sensibly," he said.

"I have the impression that President Hollande knows that too."

Mutual defence

At the meeting, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian invoked article 42-7 in the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which provides for the solidarity of member states in the event of an attack on one of them.

His appeal came after Friday's bloodshed in Paris – in which Syria-based terrorist group Isis carried out one of the worst ever terror attacks on French soil.

It is the first time that a European Union member state has invoked the article, which is similar to NATO's article five which the United States activated after the September 11, 2001 attacks and triggered the alliance's intervention in Afghanistan.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen in front of a military vehicle marked with Bundeswehr (German army) insignia. Photo: DPA

SEE ALSO: Germany army celebrates 60 years of service

European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced on Tuesday morning that ministers had agreed to support France, which has intensified bombing raids against the terror group's stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

"Today the EU through the voices of all the member states unanimously expressed its strongest full support and readiness to give the assistance needed," she told a press conference in Brussels with  Le Drian.

"France will be in contact bilaterally in coming hours and days to express the support it requires and the EU will ensure the greatest effectiveness in our common response," former Italian foreign minister Mogherini added.

Support from across the EU

Other EU countries including Sweden have already pledged their support.

Story continues below…

The French minister said the EU's support was a "political act of great significance".

Le Drian said it would "allow us in the hours to come to have bilateral talks where necessary" with other EU states to establish what aid France needed.

This aid could either be in support of France's Syria airstrikes but also in other theatres, adding that France "can't be everywhere at the same time."

There was speculation on Tuesday that France might ask for help in Mali and the Central African Republic, where its troops intervened in 2014, to free up forces for the fight against Isis.

"I felt a lot of emotion from my colleagues" over the Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group which left 129 people dead, Le Drian said, adding that many of his counterparts had addressed him personally in French to pay their respects.


 


 

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Merkel demands German vote on EU free trade deal
Photo: DPA

Angela Merkel said the German parliament should be consulted on the EU's free trade deal with Canada, setting her on a collision course with the European Commission.

Red-faced pensioner declares war on pre-recorded sexline
Photo: DPA

An 84-year-old from Bavaria has reported a sex hotline to police after it let down his expectations of late night lust - and then charged him through the nose.

Brexit vote
Brexit 'doesn't pose big risk' to German economy
Car manufacturing at Volkswagen. Photo: DPA

While the financial markets have been thrown into disarray by the Brexit vote, leading experts on the German labour market say the country is easily strong enough to cope.

Berlin colony says no to more 'non-Germans' in its gardens
One of the many small garden colonies in Germany. Photo: DPA.

A public Berlin garden colony has come under fire for denying two Turkish families allotment spaces, saying there are already too many 'non-Germans' using the allotments.

Germany experiences highest birth rate in 15 years
Photos: DPA

Germany is experiencing a mini baby boom - but a veritable "death boom" is more than balancing out the score sheet.

Monsanto still 'open' to deal with German chemical giant
An Indian Monsanto farmer seen at work in 'Sweet Corn' field at Monsanto Bangalore Centre. Photo: EPA.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it was still open to a potential merger with Bayer, or to another big deal, as it reported lower earnings due to a tough agricultural market.

Shock birthday party attack at campsite leaves one dead
A broken fence posts found at the campsite. Photo: DPA.

Violence erupted at a campsite birthday party in Lower Saxony leaving one dead, police reported on Wednesday.

Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

Munich 'to spend extra €2.2m' on Oktoberfest security
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014. Photo: DPA.

After terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and most recently Istanbul, Munich could spend nearly €3 million more on security and other measures - but terrorism isn't the only concern: the biggest fear is overcrowding.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,912
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd