US and France agree to further strengthen defence ties

28 January 2020 (Last Updated January 28th, 2020 12:06)

The US and France have agreed to continue strengthening their long-standing defence relationship over discussions on shared priorities.

US and France agree to further strengthen defence ties
Defense Secretary Mark T Esper holds a bilateral meeting with French Defense Minister Florence Parly, at the Pentagon. Credit: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K Lee.

The US and France have agreed to continue strengthening their long-standing defence relationship over discussions on shared priorities.

France continues to remain an integral part of the US’s defence efforts globally. The meeting to further discuss mutual interests was held between the two countries’ defence leaders at the Pentagon.

US Defense Secretary Dr Mark Esper said: “For more than 200 years, the alliance between France and the United States has helped safeguard the values of liberty and the rule of law.”

During their talks, the nations have considered the roles played by Russia and China and the threats posed by them in this ‘era of growing mega-power competition’. The two countries have committed to jointly tackle it.

Discussions between the two countries also covered Iranian aggression and the threats it can pose to American forces and partners, especially after the killing of Iran’s general Qasem Soleimani.

The partners focused on strengthening Nato, ensuring collective security and deepening trans-Atlantic cooperation.

Additionally, the US also encouraged all Nato members to increase their contributions. It even recognised the support offered by France to the organisation.

Esper added: “I’d like to thank the minister for her commitment to burden-sharing, as you work toward reaching the 2% of GDP (gross domestic product) spending target.”

Currently, the two nations are working together to defeat the Islamic State terrorist organisation and support Iraq to grow into a more secure nation.

France Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said: “As both of us are preparing for the February defence Nato ministerial, we have agreed that the organisation remains the cornerstone of our collective security.

“And France fully supports America’s insistence on Europeans taking a larger share of the (Nato) burden, spending more, committing more and fighting more.”