The US and France have agreed to keep strengthening their long-standing defence relationship over discussions on shared military priorities.
During a diplomatic talk, the two 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.
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.”
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.”
French support to NATO is critical to collective security, the secretary added.
”I’d like to thank the minister for her commitment to burden-sharing, as you work toward reaching the 2% of [gross domestic product] spending target,” Esper said. He added that the United States continues to encourage all NATO members to increase their contributions and invest in the readiness of the alliance.
In the Middle East, both the United States and France are working to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS and supporting Iraq on its path to becoming a more secure and prosperous and independent state, the secretary said.
U.S. actions over the last several weeks were essential to restoring deterrence and making clear to the Iranian regime that threats to American forces, partners, and interests will not be tolerated, Esper said. The United States hopes to do more with France to strengthen NATO, deepen trans-Atlantic cooperation, and ensure collective security, he added.