The French Minister of the Armies, Florence Parly, and her American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on Friday, July 9, signed in Washington a new roadmap for cooperation between their special forces, the two countries seeking to strengthen international efforts in the anti-jihadist struggle.
The signing of this agreement and the visit of Mr.me Parly intervene as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan and France reduces its military presence in the Sahel.
“Signing with Lloyd Austin of an agreement to strengthen the cooperation of our special forces. In the face of terrorism, our special forces have developed a real brotherhood of arms ”, Florence Parly announced in a tweet after the meeting. “This agreement will deepen the exceptional links that have been forged”, she assured, without giving further details on its nature.
Signature with @SecDef Lloyd Austin 🇺🇸 of an agreement to strengthen the cooperation of our special forces. Face … https://t.co/QNlICtxuai
Very different theaters
The text does not relate to a specific region, said Pentagon spokesman Anton Semelroth, the two countries being engaged in the anti-jihadist fight in very different theaters.
US President Joe Biden announced Thursday that America’s longest war will soon end, with the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by August 31. French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, indicated on Friday that France would start closing bases in northern Mali in the second half of 2021, as part of the announced reduction of its military presence in the Sahel. But Washington and Paris do not want to abandon their efforts in the area of counterterrorism.
During an exchange at the Atlantic Council think tank after his visit to the Pentagon, Mr.me Parly cited Operation Takuba, a European special forces unit supposed to train the Malian army in combat against jihadists, as an example. “Remarkable and concrete” cooperation. “United States support for our operations in the Sahel is crucial”, she added. Citing other joint missions carried out in recent years, she said: “Our operational cooperation is yielding concrete results. And she will continue to do so. “