Obama Calls French, Belgium Leaders to Congratulate Them on Arrest of Paris Attacks Fugitive

President Barack Obama spoke with the leaders of France and Belgium Friday to congratulate them on the arrest of the Islamic State fugitive suspected to have been behind the November terror attack in Paris.

French officials announced the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, 26, after an operation in Belgium. He was the main fugitive in the Nov. 13 attack in Paris that killed 130 people. The whereabouts of two other attackers is unknown.

A billboard placed beside a roundabout not far from the German-French borders shows a 'Wanted' photo of the Belgian citizen Salah Abdeslam who is suspected by the French police to have participated in the terrorist attack in Paris last week on November 20, 2015 in Mulhouse, France. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)
A billboard placed beside a roundabout not far from the German-French border shows a “wanted” photo of Belgian citizen Salah Abdeslam who is suspected by the French police to have participated in the Nov. 20 terrorist attack in Paris. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Obama spoke by phone with Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel and French President Francois Hollande.

“The president commended the work of Belgian security services and noted that this significant arrest was the result of hard work and close cooperation between Belgian and French law enforcement authorities,” White House readout of the call said.

“The president reiterated that the United States stands together with Belgium and France in our shared struggle against the scourge of terrorism and once again pledged the full cooperation and support of the United States in these efforts, reaffirming our shared commitment to degrading and destroying ISIL,” the White House readout continued. 

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