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French defense minister warns Pentagon against cutting US military assistance in W. Africa

French defense minister warns Pentagon against cutting US military assistance in W. Africa

French Defense Minister Florence Parly has warned her US counterpart during a visit to the Pentagon that counter-terrorism efforts in West Africa would be negatively affected by a reduction in US military assistance.

“The US support is critical to our operations and its reduction would severely limit our effectiveness against terrorists,” Parly said a joint news conference, standing alongside US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday.

Esper said no decisions had been made. However, he did not suggest any reconsideration of potential cuts to US forces in the region as he looks to focus more on challenges from “China’s increasingly muscular military,” and less on counter-terrorism, Reuters said.