France slams ‘barbaric act’ of apparent US journalist execution
Journalist James Foley - AP/Steven Senne

PARIS:  France on Wednesday lashed out at the apparent execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of Islamic State jihadists, labeling it a “barbaric” and “disgusting” act.

“This is a barbaric act that plays on fear,” government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told reporters after Francois Hollande convened his first cabinet meeting after the summer break.

In a statement Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that if confirmed, the “disgusting assassination would show the true face of this ‘Caliphate of Barbarism’.”

“It merits the firmest condemnation from the international community and strengthens our determination to fight against the ‘Islamic State’ in accordance with Resolution 2170 of the UN Security Council” that condemns the activity of IS.

Fabius added his condolences to the flood of messages of support after the Islamist group released a video showing a masked militant beheading a man resembling Foley, who has been missing since he was seized in Syria in November 2012.

“In such a sad moment, our thoughts go to the relatives of the journalist — a great professional, acclaimed by all in France — and in particular to his mother Diane Foley, whom we hosted last April,” the minister said.

“More than ever, France is committed to the right of journalists to work safely. There can be no impunity for those that carried out these barbaric acts.”

Thousands of people have already posted messages of condolence on the Facebook site Free James Foley, while British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that if true, the murder was “shocking and depraved.”

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