UK and France have an indestructible relationship' says PM
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Speaking at a press conference on a visit to the USA, Mr Johnson outlined how the latest UK, USA and Australia ‘Aukus’ security pact does not mean the UK and France can no longer be allies as he went on to reel off numerous examples of the two nations working “shoulder to shoulder” to combat threats across the world.
The Prime Minister said: “Our relationship with France is incredibly important, it goes back a very long time.
“It is founded on shared values, a shared belief in democracy, we work together around the world. The UK and France are shoulder to shoulder in the Sahel fighting terrorism!”
He insisted how the UK and France also stand shoulder to shoulder in the Baltic States as part of NATO’s largest current mission to fend off Russian advancements.
The Prime Minister also highlighted how France is the only country in the world who Britain shares its simulated nuclear testing programme with as he continued to rattle off the bond the two countries share.
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He also stressed how Britain and France have what he described as a “very very important, indestructible relationship”.
The Prime Minister went on to say how he will be talking to allies about how to make the Aukus pact work so that it is “not exclusionary, it is not divisive and it really doesn’t have to be that way”.
Mr Johnson concluded: “This is just a way of the UK, the US and Australia sharing certain technologies because that is the sensible thing to do in the world we find ourselves.
“But that does not in anyway mean that we wish to be adversarial to anyone else or exclusive or crowding anybody else out!”
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The comments come as France continues to rage after Australia tore up a massive €31 billion submarine building contract with the French to pursue the means to produce nuclear submarines with the help of US technology under the new Aukus pact.
It is one of the countries’ biggest defence partnerships in decades, analysts say, but China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it “seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race”.
The scrapping of the deal is a major blow to big promises made by President Macron who told the French following his election that “France is back” alluding to the role the country will play on the world stage.
It comes as France has recalled its diplomats in the USA and Australia as they simmer with rage at the new deal they’ve been left out of.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio the deal snub is “really a stab in the back.”
The new partnership was announced during a joint virtual press conference between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.
On Thursday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the pact would “preserve security and stability around the world” and generate “hundreds of high-skilled jobs”.
He stressed how the relationship with France was “rock solid” despite the brutal snub.
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