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European Leader Hopes Biden Will Reverse Course on Trump's Push to End Decades of War

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French President Emmanuel Macron expressed hope on Tuesday that U.S. President Joe Biden will return to a strategy of military engagement in the Middle East after former President Donald Trump worked to stop what he called “endless wars” there.

Macron, who made his New Year’s speech to the French military in Brest, in western France, said “I am certain that in the coming weeks, the new [Biden] administration will need to make key decisions that will mark a greater commitment and awareness in the fight against terrorism” in Syria and Iraq.

Macron said that France has maintained its efforts to fight against the Islamic State group in the region.

About 900 French troops are currently taking part in the U.S.-led international coalition. The Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier will rejoin the operation in the coming months, he said.

He also called for the United States to get more involved in defense cooperation.

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Under the Trump administration, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has been reduced to about 2,500 and American forces in Iraq have been cut in recent months to reach about the same level.

In his speech, Macron also suggested he is considering a partial troop pullout in Africa’s Sahel region, an “adjustment” he presented as a consequence of the success of French forces last year and the expected greater involvement of other European countries.


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