Macron Vows to Help Fight Terrorists in Mali

Macron Vows to Help Fight Terrorists in MaliMacron Vows to Help Fight Terrorists in Mali

Emmanuel Macron has said France will be “uncompromising” in the fight against “terrorists” in Mali, during a short visit to the country.

France’s new president also reaffirmed his commitment to helping the West African country, where French soldiers have been facing militants since 2013, BBC reported.

Macron said he hoped to strengthen ties with Germany to boost security in the area, according to Reuters.

This trip is Macron’s second foreign visit since his inauguration on Sunday. He has already visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Macron arrived in Gao, in the north of the former French colony, just before 1000 GMT (11:00 BST) on Friday.

He was met by Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, to discuss the threat of terrorism in the country.

As expected, he vowed to continue his predecessor’s policy regarding France’s military presence in West Africa.

“France is determined to stay by your side completely, and without fail,” he said, according to French broadcaster LCI.

He also spoke of his wish to strengthen ties with German troops working in Mali.

“Germany is very present in backup operations. I want to strengthen that partnership and make sure that this German commitment, which is already present, can be intensified,” he said.

“Germany knows what is at stake here (and) is also part of Europe’s security and our future. Neither France nor Germany are isolated islands.”

However, Macron went on to speak of the importance of economic development, saying “terrorists thrive on misery”.

“Anything done on the ground would be short-lived if we were not committed to investing in infrastructure or education,” he continued in a statement shared on Twitter.

Macron-accompanied by Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard and her predecessor, now Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian-is due to review some of the 4,000 anti-insurgent troops France has deployed in the region.

As a candidate, he stirred controversy at home by labeling France’s colonial war in Algeria a crime against humanity, something which was well-received in the former colonies.


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