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US, France Point to Joint Anti-Terrorism Efforts in Africa

The U.S. and France say they have developed a close partnership to fight terrorism in Africa.

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande spelled out their countries' efforts in an opinion article that was published Monday in leading U.S. and French newspapers, The Washington Post and Le Monde.

The American and French leaders are meeting in Washington this week. They said in their opinion piece that in Mali, French and African Union forces, with U.S. logistical and information support, have "pushed back" insurgents linked to al-Qaida, which they said will allow Mali to "pursue a democratic future."

Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande said the two nations are partnering "to prevent al-Qaida from gaining new footholds." They said that in the Central African Republic, French and AU soldiers, backed by American airlift and support, "are working to stem violence," opening the way toward reconciliation in the country.

The two leaders said that throughout Africa, the U.S. and France are helping to train local forces so they can take responsibility for their own security. Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande said the two countries are "among the strongest champions" in the global fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

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African heads of state, joined by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sixth from left in front row, and UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, third from right in front row, pose for a group photograph at the annual African Union summit held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2015.

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