UK

Paris attacks: David Cameron to meet Francois Hollande

Mr Cameron and Mr Hollande pictures in Paris in May Image copyright Getty Images

Prime Minister David Cameron will meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Monday to discuss the fight against terror.

They will discuss how to co-operate on counter-terrorism and in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, UK officials said.

Earlier Mr Cameron hailed a universally approved UN Security Council resolution to "redouble" action against IS.

IS has said it carried out the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead.

Monday's meeting will begin a week of diplomacy in which Mr Hollande will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama.

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A French-drafted UN document asking countries to "combat by all means this unprecedented threat" from IS received universal approval on Friday night.

The resolution is a call for countries to take action rather than a legal authorisation to use all necessary measures, the BBC's UN correspondent Nick Bryant said.

However France - which is already carrying out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria - argues that military action is legally justifiable because of the right of countries to defend themselves, he added.

Mr Cameron said the UN vote was an important moment which "shows beyond doubt the breadth of international support" to "eradicate" IS.

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Media captionUK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: "We are a target... we have to confront this threat"

He is seeking to build cross-party support in the UK for British air strikes against IS - also known as Isil, Isis or Daesh - in Syria, though there is no timetable for a Parliamentary vote.

'Russian co-operation'

On Saturday, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said the country was ready to discuss UK involvement in air strikes in Syria.

Mariya Zakharova told state television news programme Vesti: "Our position is absolutely clear: there should be co-operation, so that any (actions) are not targeted at destroying the Syrian state."

Russia and the UK have different views on how to solve Syria's long-running civil war.

Two years ago, MPs voted against possible UK military action against President Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria.

Parliament later approved British participation in air strikes against IS extremists in Iraq, which have been ongoing ever since.

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Media captionJeremy Corbyn: "Conflict in Syria and consequences of Iraq war have created conditions for IS to thrive"

On Saturday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would support "every necessary measure" to protect people in the UK, but warned people "must not keep making the same mistakes" when responding to acts of terror.

It was "vital" during a time of tragedy "not to be drawn into responses that feed a cycle of violence and hate", he said.

The recent events in Paris have won round some MPs, who had previously stated their opposition to action in Syria, to the idea of bombing IS targets in the country.

But Defence Select Committee chairman, Conservative MP Julian Lewis, said he was standing firm in his belief that air strikes were not the answer.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The French-drafted resolution to "redouble" efforts against IS was unanimously carried by the UN Security Council

"I am in favour of effective military action to destroy Daesh, Isil, (but) bombing alone, without credible ground forces, is ineffective action," he told the BBC.

"There is little, if any, evidence in history of a successful bombing campaign unless there were ground forces to take over."

The SNP said the prime minister should not take the UN resolution as an authorisation for UK military action.

The UK government had not made a case that Britain "adding to the bombing of Syria will make any material difference", a spokesperson said.

Brussels alert

Meanwhile, Belgium has raised its terror alert in the Brussels region to the highest level, warning of a "very serious" and "imminent" threat. The Brussels metro network has been closed for the weekend.

The UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for Belgium, advising people to avoid busy places, including concerts, stations, airports, and shopping centres.

At Premier League football matches this weekend, the French national anthem - La Marseillaise - will be played in a show of support.

A choral version will be played after the coin toss, with players from both teams coming together with match officials in the centre circle.

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