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U.S. and UK agree to help France fight terrorism

Obama says the U.S. and Britain will help France ‘seek the justice that is needed’

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The United States and Britain agreed on Friday to help France in its counter-terrorism campaign after a spate of attacks in Paris last week that left 17 dead, President Barack Obama said Friday.

“I know David joins me when I say that we will continue to do everything in our power to help France seek the justice that is needed,” Obama told a joint press conference after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron said the shootings in Paris were a reminder that Britain and America face threats to national security from people who hate what the two countries stand for. “We must also fight this poisonous ideology, starting at home,” Cameron said.

Obama called the Paris attacks “vicious” and said both the United States and Britain stand with the French and all allies fighting the “scourge” of terrorism.

“This phenomenon of violent extremism - the ideology, the networks, the capacity to recruit young people - this has metastasized and it is widespread. And it has penetrated communities around the world.”

But the U.S. president said violent extremism did not pose "existential threat." "It is one that we’re ultimately going to defeat. But we can’t just defeat it through weapons.”

He advised Europe to further integrate its Muslim communities and not “simply respond with a hammer.”

Speaking about the Muslims in America, Obama said: “Our biggest advantage, major, is that our Muslim populations -- they feel themselves to be Americans..

Earlier on Friday French President Francois Hollande on Friday called for a “firm” and “collective” international response to terrorism.

Speaking to Paris-based ambassadors from around the world, Hollande said: "Our response has to be firm in the face of terrorism. It can only be collective."

Fears of further violence by Islamic extremists are growing, with police in Belgium saying they killed two suspects in a raid Thursday to stop another major impending attack.

Cameron said: “We know what we’re up against and we know how we will win.”