Providing military assistance rather than intervention in the Sahel, Benjamin
The United States prefers providing technical assistance to Sahel countries in the frame of the war against Al-Qaeda, rather than having a military presence in the region, said Coordinator for counterterrorism at the US Department of State, Ambassador at large, Daniel Benjamin.
Daniel Benjamin started Monday a three-day visit to Algiers. Speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the US Embassy in Algiers, he indicated that the visit falls within the reinforcement of security cooperation between Algiers and Washington: “the United States considers Algeria a leader country in counterterrorism, and we esteem big sacrifices made by Algerian security forces in this field”. M. Benjamin had further said that his country does not have any military presence in the Sahel region and that it does not look forward to participate directly in military activities to fight AL-Qaeda in the region. He specified, however that: “our presence is limited to the technical assistance we provide to some countries there.”
The US diplomat had denounced the execution of the French national, Michel Germaneau, which is “a new barbaric act,” he said.
M. Benjamin had avoided commenting at the Franco-Mauritanian military strike to save the French hostage in northern Mali. He had also evaded responding on a question dealing with probable information provided by the United States to Mauritania to conduct the military operation: “I’m not concerned with Intelligence issues,” he said.