During his official visit in Mali in his first travel outside Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his determination to crush extremism but also added that “other countries can do more” to help protect Europe from the threat.
Macron, who was visiting France’s largest overseas military operation, which is combating jihadist groups in West Africa, outlined that the region’s terror threat is “clearly a risk for Europe.” He pledged that the French troops will remain in Mali until the extremists are eliminated but called upon other countries to support their efforts. He addressed Germany in particular and said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured him that her country will back the idea during a meeting between the two in Berlin last week.
German intentions are also evident by the fact that the country approved expansion of the military deployment in Mali earlier this year and increased the number of German soldiers form 650 to 1000. Germany also send more helicopters.
During a press conference with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Macron said that:
“France de facto ensures Europe’s security, in Mali and in other theaters of operations. But other countries can do more, in terms of backup, in terms of development (and) partnerships for equipment. I want to strengthen those European partnerships, in particular with Germany.”
“The road is long … but we are going forward and we will succeed,” Keita added.