PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to strengthen France's cooperation with Ivory Coast on military and intelligence issues in an effort to help fight Islamic extremism in the region.

Macron said "we are facing a challenge, the fight against terrorism and for security in our countries and our region," according to a joint statement with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara following a meeting Sunday at the Elysee Palace.

Macron said both countries will reinforce their partnership on these issues in the coming weeks.

Ouattara praised France for its military presence in the Sahel region and said his country will "do its part" in the fight against extremism in West Africa.

In March 2016, Islamic extremists attacked an Ivory Coast beach resort, killing 19 people, including tourists and special forces members.