To not be attacked from inside and save the innocent people from the organized crime, France stepped up already-heavy security in Paris Saturday as more than 140 world leaders are set to descend on the French capital for climate talks that will bring a massive police presence and extensive traffic restrictions just over two weeks after terror attacks shook the nation.
Stores in the greater Paris region have been ordered to pull from their shelves gas cylinders, domestic solvents and firecrackers as part of security measures that will also include shutting down major traffic arteries around the capital for two days and stricter border controls.
France has barred almost 1,000 people from entering the country since the Nov. 13 terror attacks because they were deemed to represent risks to security or public order, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday during a visit to the eastern city of Strasbourg.
From Sunday afternoon through late Monday, the highways leading north and south out of Paris will be shut to normal traffic, as will a northern stretch of the “peripherique,” the road that circles the city. Major boulevards will be closed, while truck traffic in the Paris region will be banned. The police have asked Parisians not to use their cars and to avoid public transport Sunday and Monday, even though it will be free.
Organizers say 147 heads of government and state, including U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping, will attend the Nov. 30 opening of the UN’s COP 21climate talks, which will take place at Le Bourget, an airport 14 kilometers north of Paris where an international air show is held every two years. The site will officially be UN territory during the duration of the talks. Some of the leaders plan to stay in Paris.
The talks come to a city still recovering from a series of attacks by Islamic radicals at a stadium, restaurants and concert hall that left 130 dead. While museums, cultural venues, street markets, and metro stations that were closed after the attacks have all re-opened, crowds of Parisians continue to flock to impromptu memorials at the sites of the killings.
On Friday, President Francois Hollande presided over a national homage to the victims at the Invalides, a 17th-century military monument in central Paris that houses the tomb of French emperor Napoleon.