NEW YORK, September 19. /TASS/. France will reduce the number of its military contingent in Africa but increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), the country's Chief of Staff of Air and Space Force, General Stephane Mille, told journalists.
"[France] will perhaps reduce the number of its forces in Africa in the future," the Defense One news portal quoted the military commander as saying.
The newspaper notes that the intention to reduce the presence in Africa does not mean an end to counterterrorism missions in the Sahel. According to Mille, France will work with the authorities of the regional states to better understand their needs and, if necessary, deploy its troops "for a certain period of time for training and similar activities." "This is a good use of air force capabilities, especially transport aircraft," the French military commander pointed out.
Mille added that large transport aircraft as well as air bases in French Polynesia and New Caledonia will play a key role in the Pacific strategy Paris is currently developing. "We are a Pacific nation, so our presence in the Pacific is a normal thing. <...>. We will be more present there in the future," the military official noted.