*Over Sahel operation
The US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that France has his continued support for counterterrorism efforts in Africa’s Sahel region.
His comments came in a telephone call with his French counterpart, Florence Parly.
France has about 5,000 troops in the Sahel region of West Africa to fight Islamist militants and receives logistical support from the United States.
Washington is working on repairing relations with Paris after the announcement almost two weeks ago of a new security partnership with Australia and Britain caused France to lose a major defence contract to build submarines for Australia.