France wants to ensure the safety of all allies on the spot.
The French and American presidents, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump, exchanged on Monday by telephone, the second obviously attempting to reassure the first on the announced withdrawal of American troops from Syria, criticized by Paris.
“They discussed together the situation in Syria, where the fight against Daaesh remains the priority. In the context of the announced withdrawal of US troops from North-East Syria, the President of the Republic stressed the importance of close coordination among members of the international coalition so that the security of all our partners be assured, “said the Elysee in a statement.
“The two leaders discussed the situation in Syria, including the commitment of the United States and France to destroy the IS, as well as plans for a strong, thoughtful and coordinated withdrawal of US troops from Syria,” he said. on his side the White House.
“I spoke with the French,” said US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo on board the plane taking him on a marathon tour of the Middle East. “We will make sure to respond to any concerns they may have. Everyone understands what the United States is doing, “he told reporters early in the evening.
A “adapted” rhythm
The controversial withdrawal of US troops from Syria will be conducted at an “appropriate pace,” Donald Trump assured Monday morning. “We will leave (Syria) at a suitable pace while at the same time continuing to fight IS and do what is prudent and necessary for everything else,” the US president tweeted.
The announcement on 19 December of the withdrawal of about 2,000 US troops fighting the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria has raised concerns among US allies. “I deeply regret the decision taken […] An ally must be reliable, coordinate with its other allies,” had reacted Emmanuel Macron.
Donald Trump’s position on the pace of withdrawal has fluctuated over the days. “We won against the EI group, it’s time to go back,” he said on December 19, in a short video posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young women, our men, they all go home, and they all come back now.” But in early January, he was much more evasive on the calendar. “We are withdrawing,” he said, adding that it would be done “over a period of time”. “I never said we would leave overnight.”