PARIS - Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Friday said the fight against "Islamist totalitarianism" should be the priority of France's next president.
Seizing on Thursday night's killing of a police officer in an attack claimed by Islamic State, Fillon, who is lagging in opinion polls behind centrist Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen of the far right, told reporters:
"This battle for the freedom and security of the French must be the priority of the next government. It will require an unyielding determination and a cool head."
"Radical Islam is challenging our values and our strength of character."
Fillon, who has been campaigning on a hardline security platform, said: "We are at war, there is no alternative, it's us or them."
He added that the priority of his foreign policy would be to "destroy Islamic State." REUTERS