French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to provide “new force” to fight against terrorism in Africa, as he paid a visit to Ivory Coast, with which he said Paris has made a strategic partnership.
Macron, who arrived in the Ivory Coast on Friday, said Paris has built a “strategic partnership” with Abidjan.
The partnership, which Macron described as strong and solid, “addresses the priorities of our two countries in the region and France's will to contribute to reinforcing the collective security system in Africa, so as to build peace and lasting security in Africa but also in Europe, because our destinies our linked."
Macron made the remarks during a speech for French soldiers at the Port-Bouet military camp.
He also described French military presence in the region as “a vital mission,” saying that France will fight against terrorists “with our African, European and international partners.”
His visit to the African nation came ahead of a summit in Paris with the leaders of five Sahel nations early next year.
The summit, which was initially due to be held in Paris this month, is planned for January 13, in Pau, southwestern France, said the president’s office earlier this month.
It also said the summit’s aim is to “lay the groundwork for increased international support” for the Sahel.
France, a former colonial power, is still trying to maintain power with its significant military presence in Africa.
Currently, there are some 4,500 French troops in the Sahel region, alongside a 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Mali.
Violence, however, continues in the region with the militants — linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh — using northern Mali to launch attacks on other countries in the region
Back in November, 13 French soldiers lost their lives during a helicopter crash in Mali.
After the incident, Macron ordered the military to review its operations against militants in West Africa and intensified calls on European allies to support the military presence in the region.
France in pressing European allies to join the “mission” in the Sahel as both China and Russia have been expanding their financial and political influence across the continent.
Beijing overtook the US almost a decade ago by turning into Africa's largest trading partner.
According to official statistics, their bilateral trade reached a record-high of $220 billion in 2014.
It has already provided many countries in the continent with billions of dollars in aid and loans for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.