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EU expresses will to fight against terrorism after Paris shooting

President of the European Council Donald Tusk here on Wednesday said the European Union stood side by side with France after a deadly attack on a Paris press office.

"I am shocked by the appalling attack that took place this morning in Paris against Charlie Hebdo. It is a brutal attack against our fundamental values, against freedom of expression which is a pillar of our democracy," he said in a statement.

Tusk extended "deepest condolences" to the families and relatives of the victims and express solidarity with the French authorities and the French people.

"The fight against terrorism in all its forms must continue unabated," he said.

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday condemned the shooting in Paris, calling it a "brutal and inhuman" attack.

"This is an intolerable act, a barbarism that challenges us all as human and European beings," Juncker, who is on a trip to Latvia, said in a statement posted on the official website of the EU.

Later Wednesday, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the terrorist acts were deeply shocking.

"Freedom of the press is a fundamental right and we will not let these attacks undermine our values," she said, expressing her solidarity with France, the victims and their relatives.

"These tragic events strengthen my determination in this direction, and I will put this item on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council, on Jan. 19," she said.

The fight against terrorism, in all its forms, was regularly at the heart of the work of the meetings of foreign ministers. The EU remains united in the fight against all extremism, said Mogherini.

To show solidarity with the French citizens, authorities and the victims of this deadly attack, the European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Wednesday invited all members of the European Parliament to the Agora Simone Veil, in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, to observe a minute of silence at 10:45 a.m. local time (0945 GMT) on Thursday.

"This heinous act is an attack against our values of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, against tolerance and mutual respect. I condemn it strongly," said Schulz at the Parliament's official web-Site, noting that they have learnt with great shock and sadness of the terrorist attack against the Paris press office.

"On behalf of the European Parliament, I express my condolences to the families and friends of the victims," he added.

At least two masked and heavily armed men stormed the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, earlier in the day, killing at least 12 people, including two policemen.

[Source: Xinhua, Brussels, 07Jan15]

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