France's Macron says U.S. exit from West Africa would be bad news

France's President Emmanuel Macron delivers a news conference as part of the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region in Pau, France January 13, 2020. Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that a U.S. military withdrawal from West Africa would be a problem for France, but he was confident he could convince President Donald Trump that the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa was vital.

“If the Americans were to decide to leave Africa it would be really bad news for us,” Macron said after a summit with West African leaders in southwestern France. “I hope to be able to convince President Trump that the fight against terrorism also plays out in this region.”

The U.S. provides intelligence, logistical and drone support to French and regional troops.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Sandra Maler