PARIS, December 20. /TASS/. France is determined to continue the fight against terrorism in Syria despite US President Donald Trump’s decision on complete withdrawal of US troops from that country, French Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, told the CNews TV channel on Thursday.
"The war on terror is far from over. It has already been marked by substantial progress, particularly in Syria, where actions are carried out within the framework of the international coalition. However, it is essential to continue that fight," she said.
The minister stressed that Trump’s decision made one think once again that "France needs to have an opportunity to make decisions in Europe at its own discretion and have strategic autonomy" in the face of the persisting terror threat. "We need to make our decisions independently," she pointed out.
According to Loiseau, the decision made by the US president "indicates that Europe and the US may have different priorities and that France and the EU countries should rely on themselves anyway." Answering a question on the French troops in Syria, she stressed that they remain in that country, because waging war against the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) continues to be a crucial issue.
"Each country can have its priorities. The most important thing is to have the necessary forces and means to be able to achieve these goals," the minister said when asked whether France could leave Syria as quickly as the US.
On Wednesday, Trump ordered complete withdrawal of troops from Syria. Currently, there are 2,000 US military servicemen there. The US president tweeted that the United States had succeeded in its mission to defeat the Islamic State terror group and that it was time to bring US troops home.