According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the Islamic State’s jihadist organization has suffered “almost complete defeat” in Iraq and Syria, and the international coalition may have a military victory over the jihadists within a few weeks.
“With the efforts of all the nations involved, the Islamic State military organization has almost suffered a complete defeat. I hope that we will succeed in winning military victories in the coming weeks,” said the French President on Friday in Toulon, southern France, on the Dixmude warship, in his speech.
“I would like to be committed to our partners with the support of stability, reconstruction and population, which will not be the end of the fight, but this year, we will transform our national contribution in line with the operational situation,” he added.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on Wednesday, spoke of an indefinite US military presence in Syria in the wake of the wider strategy to prevent the revival of the Islamic State, outlining the diplomatic means that would lead to the departure of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and the decline of Iranian influence.
The French President, six months after last year’s budget austerity, resigned by former Chief of Staff Pierre de Villiers, confirmed that the army’s budget will rise by € 1.8 billion to € 34.2 billion this year and reach by two percent.
Emmanuel Macron called an increase in the defense budget “unprecedented and incomparable,” and indicated that he would “have full and common demanding” for the budget to be audited personally.
The amount spent on foreign operations is raised by the French government from 450 to 650 million euros last year, amounting to EUR 1.1 billion by 2020.
The French president confirmed his promise in the presidential election campaign to introduce “general national service” for all young people, but not from the military budget, but will be financed by the ministries involved in the program.
Emmanuel Macron has also promised that the two components of the French nuclear arsenal, the aerial and marine forces that complement each other, will be modernized in the next five years.
“Nuclear deterrence has been the key to our defense strategy for fifty years,” the French President recalled. “Nuclear deterrence is part of our history, defense strategy, and it remains,” said Macron, who says that France can maintain its strategic autonomy and freedom of movement thanks to nuclear arsenal.
The French President, who emphasized the importance of European defense co-operation, considered that the army of his country “is now becoming the European reference force,” the number one partner of which is Germany and the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
Source: MTI / Image: atv.hu