French Defense Ministry spokesman Herve Gran Jean said, in an interview with the Al Arabiya channel, today, Friday, that France “shares the same struggle with Saudi Arabia, which is the fight against terrorism”.
He continued: “We have close cooperation in defense matters with Saudi Arabia “, adding that” France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are fighting al-Qaeda terrorism “.
He added: “The Strait of Hormuz is of great importance to us, as 30% of energy supplies flow through it. We are partnering with the UAE to keep shipping free in Hormuz. There is also intense strategic cooperation. with this country in matter of armaments. “.
Regarding the French operations file in Mali, Grand Jean stressed that the French army does not close its bases in this country, “but rather moves them towards the borders of Niger and Burkina Faso”.
“We are leaving our bases in northern Mali because terrorism is moving south towards the Gulf of Guinea,” he explained. He also confirmed that France will retain 2,500 troops after relocating to the Sahel region of Africa.
He continued: “We handed over the northern Tessalit base on November 13 to 200 Malian soldiers and 700 UN soldiers. Previously we did the same at the Kidal base. We will soon do the same in Timbuktu. We are currently concentrating our presence. on the border triangle between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. “We see a growing threat from terrorist armed groups.”
He added: “Let’s see how this threat spreads south to the Gulf of Guinea in particular. This makes sense to reorient our presence from north to south . and we will remain very committed to fighting terrorist armed groups there. . “
On the issue of France’s launching of military satellites, Gran Jean said: “We launched three satellites, which could not be monitored, to gather information.” He also pointed out that these new satellites give France “independent and unlimited capabilities”.
He continued: “We used to have satellites to monitor and photograph the Earth, from now on in then we will have listening satellites in able to monitor the electromagnetic signals emitted by radars, surface-to-air missile batteries and communication stations, and thanks to these satellites we will be in able to locate them all. The cut is very precise and we know what kind of device it is. “
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