France urges stepped-up US cooperation on terror threats

AFP - [email protected]
France urges stepped-up US cooperation on terror threats
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin speaks during an interview with AFP at the French Consulate in New York City on May 19th, 2023. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, on a visit to the United States, expressed alarm Friday at a "resurgence" of the "Islamist terrorist" threat in Europe and called on the U.S. government to strengthen their anti-terrorism cooperation ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics. Photo by: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

France's interior minister warned of a coming resurgence in terrorist threats in Europe during a visit to the US on Friday, saying he had asked Washington for stepped-up cooperation ahead of the Paris Olympics in 2024.


Pointing to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, France's diminished footprint in Africa and the "reconstitution" of the Islamic State in the Levant, Gerald Darmanin told AFP in an interview that these "are times of significant risk."

He was wrapping up a two-day visit to Washington and New York aimed at boosting police and judicial cooperation between France and the United States in the fight against terrorism and serious crime.

"We have come to remind them that for Europeans, and for France, the primary risk is Sunni Islamist terrorism and that anti-terrorist collaboration between intelligence services is absolutely essential," Darmanin said during the interview in New York.

He added that "at a time when the Americans maybe have a more domestic vision of challenges - white supremacy, repeated shootings, conspiracy - they must not forget what appears to us in Europe as the first threat: Sunni terrorism."

He spoke with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and visited the FBI training centre in Quantico, Virginia.


In New York, he met Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to discuss public order and security arrangements for major international events, noting that France was gearing up for the Olympics in July of 2024, as well as the Rugby World Cup and a visit by Pope Francis to Marseille later this year.


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