President Barack Obama responded to an attack in Nice, France that left at least 84 dead on Thursday with a call for unity and diplomacy.
“We pledge to stand with our French friends as we defend our nations against this scourge of terrorism and violence. And this is a threat to all of us,” he said after hosting the Diplomatic Corps reception. “We don’t know all the details, but what we know is the capacity of even a single individual to do extraordinary harm to our people, to our way of life, a lot of nations represented here today have been impacted this year and in previous years.”
Obama called for global solidarity, emphasizing a constructive response to fears of radicalization.
“We’re going to win this fight by building. By never giving up on diplomacy and to end the Syrian civil war. By working with partners around the world, including Muslim communities to push back against hateful ideologies that twist Islam,” he said. “We will defeat these ideologies by offering a better vision of development and economic progress. So people, especially young people, have more hope and opportunity and are less susceptible to extremism and violence in the first place.”
The President went on to say that “it’s been a difficult several weeks here in the United States” and thanked the representatives of the Diplomatic Corps for their partnership. He went on to list instances of international cooperation, describing them as “a powerful reminder of the hope that we can advance when, as nations and as peoples and as individuals, we refuse to be defined by our differences alone and we remember that we are all part of one human race.”
“Even on difficult days like this,” he said, “that’s what gives me hope, and that’s what should give us all hope.”