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World & Nation

Obama says Paris attacks are an assault on ‘all of humanity’

President Obama

President Obama pauses as he speaks about the attacks in Paris during a White House news conference on Friday.

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press )

President Obama called the attacks in Paris “an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and pledged the nation’s full support to the people of France in response to the violence apparently still unfolding as he spoke Friday.

“This is an attack not just on Paris; it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share,” Obama said in a hastily arranged news conference at the White House press briefing room early Friday night.

Calling France America’s oldest ally, he said the U.S. stands with the nation “in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”

“Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress,” he said. “Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong.”

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LIVE UPDATES: France has closed its borders, military being deployed 

Obama said he had not yet spoken with French President Francois Hollande since the attacks; the two leaders had spoken earlier in the day ahead of their meeting in the coming days at the G-20 summit in Turkey.

Obama was scheduled to depart Saturday for a 10-day international trip beginning with that meeting of the world’s leading economic powers in Turkey. That summit and other meetings around it are expected to focus on the international fight against Islamic State and the bloody civil war in Syria.

Obama is also expected to travel to Paris in just over two weeks for an international summit on climate. The president did not respond to a shouted question about how the attacks in Paris might affect his plans.

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For more White House coverage, follow @mikememoli.

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