Defence chiefs of France and the US have signed the new Special Operations Forces roadmap to increase coordination and cooperation between their forces.

The roadmap was signed by US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III and France Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly at the Pentagon.

The two countries will focus on areas that will improve cooperation between the two countries’ special operators.

Austin III said: “Our cooperation in Nato, the Sahel and the Middle East are a key to our long-standing partnership, which is grounded in common strategic interests, our shared understanding of the importance of diplomacy and a powerful interest in preserving the international rules-based order.

“Our countries have a strong shared interest in protecting our critical infrastructure and that of our allies, including cyber infrastructure, and that’s a foundation for our future cooperation in the area of technological infrastructure more broadly.”

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that the meeting between the two parties was intended to endorse the deep cooperation between their governments and militaries.

The two leaders also discussed transatlantic cooperation and unity importance.

During the meeting, the leaders also talked about bilateral cooperation and opportunities for continued engagement in the Middle East and Africa to address common challenges.

Furthermore, Florence noted that the two countries must also focus on further cooperation in intelligence, space and cyber domains.

She added: “Our cooperation is already very strong and deep, especially in the field of operations, and we want to seize every opportunity to strengthen it.”