UK and France reach agreements to strengthen defence cooperation

23 January 2018 (Last Updated January 23rd, 2018 15:28)

The governments of UK and France have reached a series of agreements to strengthen defence cooperation between the countries.

UK and France reach agreements to strengthen defence cooperation
France President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Credit: Crown Copyright.

The governments of UK and France have reached a series of agreements to strengthen defence cooperation between the countries.

At the 2018 UK-France Summit held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to pursue several initiatives, building on the 2010 Lancaster House Treaties.

As part of the measures, Macron has pledged additional support to the UK-led enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Estonia in 2019.

The mission is aimed at safeguarding the interests of Nato Allies from Russian aggression and strengthening the security of Nato’s Eastern flank.

The UK Government will provide logistical support to the French counter-terrorism operations in Mali through the deployment of RAF Chinook helicopters.

“The countries will deliver continued support from the UK’s defence industry to European defence research and capability development programmes.”

In Africa, the UK is already providing military support to the UN missions in South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

British military personnel are offering training to the Nigerian armed forces in an effort to defend against the threat from militant group Boko Haram.

Under the cooperation agreement, the countries will deliver continued support from the UK’s defence industry to European defence research and capability development programmes.

The countries will collaborate with other European partners to support the development of the proposed European Intervention Initiative (EII). It aims to improve operational planning and coordination of military deployments among European partners.

The EII is expected to complement existing Nato, EU and JEF military structures and initiatives.

Meanwhile, the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) is set to become fully operational by 2020, according to the UK Government.

The objective of CJEF is to perform military combat operations on land, in the air and at sea, as well as offering peace-keeping, disaster relief or humanitarian assistance.