PARIS – President Emmanuel Macron will hold a holiday dinner with French troops in Niger as he tries to bolster international forces fighting extremists across a swath of Africa.
In a trip starting Friday, Macron wants to encourage Niger's growing military efforts to fight terrorism in West Africa. France has thousands of troops there in its largest overseas military operation and wants African forces to take a more prominent role.
In meetings with President Mahamadou Issoufou, Macron is also expected to discuss migrant trafficking through the area.
Macron is trying to show support for French troops based in Niger and is bringing a special present: the chef from the Elysee presidential palace. The chef will oversee a meal for hundreds of French troops in addition to American, Canadian and German forces.