France would invest in its defense and remain its mission in Afghanistan despite the economic crisis, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on the country's National Day Tuesday after the military parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, Xinhua reported.
Speaking to France 2 television, Sarkozy said France would invest 377 billion euros (about 527 billion U.S. dollars) in its military on high-tech weapons and new intelligence services over the next 12 years aimed to maintain and improve its capacity for challenges in future conflicts.
"We're going to make a great effort on their equipment. They will have all means to protect themselves in the battles that they will fight in," he said.
Sarkozy also said that France remained committed to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, reiterating that France could not allow the return of the Taliban.
Regarding the restructuring of the French military that has forced to close some military bases in France and Africa, Sarkozy said the army had adapted with "brio" to the changes.
France looks to extend its global military influence as the president said "The challenges for tomorrow is to have a France, with 65 million people, recognized as a great power: That our voice be heard."
According to local media reports, the French senate is to vote on Wednesday to approve a five-year military reform program which will call off 80 units and cut 54,000 jobs among military and civilian defense staff.