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Europe

Historic French British defence treaty to be signed

media HMS Ark Royal is to be decommissioned four years early to meet defence … Reuters

France and Britain are set to sign a defence treaty at a summit on London on Tuesday setting out cooperation on issues including military planes and aircraft carriers.

“The British and French governments will sign new defence and security cooperation treaties," British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament Monday adding that they would "deliver for our national interest while protecting our national sovereignty".

"There are many areas where we can work together and enhance our capabilities and save money at the same time," he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who will attend the summit in London, has said he wants to remove "taboos" and consider "concrete projects" to work with Britain.

Officials admit the deal is a bid to allow two medium-sized nuclear powers to remain global players in the face of economic austerity. Even David Cameron has admitted that saving money is one of the objectives.

Cooperation is likely to include the A400M transport aircraft and on aircraft carriers.

Britain and France together account for 50 per cent of Europe's operational military capability.

 

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