17:45 GMT +317 November 2019
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    French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May shake hands after they spoke to the press at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 13, 2017.

    British and French Leaders Resolve to Deepen Military Ties

    © REUTERS / Philippe Wojazer
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    Despite the surface tensions caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union, Britain and France continue their historic cooperation in regions of their respective former empires.

    French President Emmanuel Macron met British Prime Minister Theresa May on January, 18 to discuss various points of contention over Brexit arrangements between the two countries, particularly management of security at the Port of Calais.

    Former French West Africa

    The British Government however resolved to contribute military forces in the form of Apache helicopters to the French intervention in the Sahel region of north-west Africa. While not a member of the so-called "G5 Group," comprising the states of Mauretania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad, France is widely recognized as the driving force behind the alliance whose declared mission is to clear the western Saharan region of al-Qaeda affiliated militant groups. Other major EU states have also committed to the effort, including Italy while the United States has contributed US$60 million in support.

    Persian Gulf — Britain's Ex-Condominium

    Within the realms of the former British Empire, France has in recent years stepped up its involvement in the Persian Gulf, establishing its own naval and airbase at Camp de la Paix in the United Arab Emirates. Positioned near the highly strategic Straits of Hormuz through which at least 40 percent of global seaborne oil is transported. While both have stepped up efforts to attempt to constrain Iranian military influence in the Gulf, Britain and France have also joined other major world powers in counselling the US against collapsing the Iranian Nuclear Accord. Their warnings along with those of Germany proved pivotal in President Trump renewing sanctions relief for Iran in accordance with the deal on January 12.

    Treaty of Lancaster

    In 2010, without much fanfare, the two countries signed a treaty at Lancaster House, for which it was named, on future enhanced military cooperation under then Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy. Its contents were largely a continuation of a previous agreement in 1997 which saw both states take on mutually supporting roles in each other's former colonial domains.  The remit of the treaty covers future development of military technologies as well as the closer integration of both countries' armed forces. Among the improvements envisioned in the treaty was the coordination of naval modernization so as to allow both countries' aircraft to operate off of each other's aircraft carriers.


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    military-technical cooperation, treaty, military cooperation, Brexit, European Union, G5, David Cameron, Emmanuel Macron, Nicholas Sarkozy, Theresa May, United States, Persian Gulf, Sahel region, United Kingdom, France
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