France to tighten border controls before U.N. climate change meeting, official says

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  • The stricter border control measures represent a suspension of Europe's open border treaty
  • The move comes ahead of next month's U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris

(CNN)France will impose tighter controls on its borders ahead of next month's U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday.

France's move to "close its borders for several weeks," as Cazeneuve called it, does not mean that people cannot come into France from other European countries during this period. Rather they can enter the country after being subjected to stricter border control measures.
    The interior minister explained the action in the "context of a terrorist threat or risk of disruption to public order."
    The Schengen Area agreement mandates open borders around Europe for 26 European Union nations, but Cazeneuve told CNN affiliate BFMTV that France won't be violating the treaty because countries that have signed it can take such measures for "particular circumstances."
    The more stringent border control measures aren't the first time a European country has temporarily suspended the Schengen treaty. In 2002, Italy did so ahead of a massive anti-war rally in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
    France has seen several terror attacks this year, including the killing of 17 people in Paris at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and at a kosher store.
    Top officials from around the world will attend the U.N. conference -- also known as Paris 2015 -- in the French capital between November 30 and December 11, making it a possible prime target for terrorists.
    Cazeneuve said the climate change meeting "carries a large message for humanity," adding that other host countries have taken similar border control measures in the past.