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France, Estonia Foreign Ministers discuss Baltic states security and Africa’s Sahel region

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Paris, Oct 12: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian thanked his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Reinsalu for the commitment of the Estonian contingent deployed in Operation Barkhane and invited him to support the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S).

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region. It consists of a 3,000-strong French force, which will be permanent and headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. France has begun asking its European partners to send special forces to Mali and other nations in Africa’s Sahel region, to shore up local forces who are being increasingly targeted by deadly jihadist attacks across the vast sub-Saharan expanse.

France is committed to build the armies of Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad and Niger before any drawdown of its troops.

France and Estonia has close defense and security partnership, especially in the area of external operations and both the leaders pledged support for the European Intervention Initiative.

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs reaffirmed Estonia support for the security of the Baltic states through France’s contribution to the Baltic Air Policing mission and the deployment of French troops in Estonia.

The two ministers also discussed Estonia’s upcoming entry into the Security Council as a non-permanent member for the two-year 2020-2021 term.

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