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France and UK to Hold Defense Summit in 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that the UK and France will hold a summit in the first quarter of 2023 aimed at strengthening military and defence cooperation.

Macron said the Summit will set out strategic defence priorities for France and Europe in the coming years in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing international assertion. “Our partnership with the United Kingdom should also be taken to another level” Macron said aboard a helicopter carrier at the Mediterranean naval base in Toulon. “I hope we will continue our dialogue actively in the fields of operations, capacities, nuclear and hybrid, and renew the ambitions of the two countries as friends and allies.”

France is counting on a renewed rapprochement with Britain under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, after years of strained relations under Boris Johnson and later Liz Truss. Macron also insists on the need for deeper military cooperation with Germany, an “indispensable partner” to build Europe’s military autonomy. The two countries agreed to work specifically on next-generation fighter jets and tanks, but both projects were reportedly stalled due to disagreements over technical needs and how to share production.

“I believe that the success of the European project largely depends on the balance of our partnership. In this regard, I hope we can make decisive progress in the coming weeks” Macron said. 

France also plans to renew its partnerships and operations in Africa, where it has been trying for the past decade to help local governments to contain Islamist rebellions in the Sahel region. “In the coming months, we must together with our African partners determine how to radically change our methods and commitments, which should lead to a lighter and more integrated deployment with them” Macron continued.

France and the United Kingdom, which have been on the agenda frequently in the past years, will hold a summit in 2023 for the rapprochement process. In the past, France and England, who were in the Allied Powers in the 1st World War and in the Allied Powers in the 2nd World War, frequently took place on the same side on critical issues. Especially during the Second World War, France and England formed the Allied Group against the Axis Group, which caused the states to openly reveal their ranks.

In addition, Britain officially left the European Union (EU), of which France is a member, on 31st January 2020. Britain, which decided to leave the EU with 52 percent of the votes against 48 percent in the EU referendum held in June 2016, remained loyal to the EU rules during the transition period that lasted until 31 December 2020.

It is a matter of curiosity what kind of communication France and England will maintain in the future. C4 Defense will continue to follow the France-England Defence Summit that will take place in early 2023 and all other developments in its publications.

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