French President François Hollande will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday, in hopes of pushing the United States to take more action against the Islamic State group following the terror attacks in Paris. The meeting is the first between the two leaders since the coordinated terror attacks on Nov. 13, which claimed 130 lives.
After the attacks, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, the United States government announced that it would share its threat intelligence and other military information with France -- which enabled France to launch strikes against Syrian targets.
But French officials want the United States to go beyond what it has already done.
"The message that we want to send to the Americans is simply that the crisis is becoming a sort of risk destabilizing Europe," a senior French official told Reuters. "The attacks in Paris and the refugee crisis show that we don’t have time."
French officials also said that the U.S. could do more than it has in its bombing campaign in Syria.
"American power, in theory, would allow the United States to hit much harder," another unnamed French official told Reuters. "Two years of sanctuary for Daesh in Syria is enough," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
During his trip to Turkey last week, Obama voiced his desire to aid France, but did not go as far as suggesting a shift in the United States’ current strategy, which includes airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. is also working with local forces rather than deploying its own troops and is focusing on a diplomatic solution to the Syrian civil war.
A U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity told Reuters that there will be increased cooperation between France and the United States and that next week’s talks between Hollande and Obama may encourage others in the anti-ISIS coalition to do more.
"This should not just fall to the United States,” the U.S. official said. "Certainly, the U.S. has been in the lead role. But one of the real opportunities in the wake of Paris is for others -- European countries, Gulf states, for this coalition as a whole -- to do more and for other players to step up and do more of the heavy lifting here."
French citizens have been pleased with the way Hollande has responded to the Paris attacks. His approval ratings have jumped 7 points in one poll and 8 points in another, reports France24.