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Britain’s relationship with France is rock-solid, says PM Johnson By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Boris Johnson is Britain’s Prime Minister and holds a news conference in London on September 14th, 2021 about the winter COVID-19 plans. Dan Kitwood/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s relationship with France is rock solid, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday, when asked about a new defence pact with Australia and the United States that sinks an existing French-Australian submarine deal.

France reacts angrily Wednesday to news about the “AUKUS” partnership, which will enable Australia to purchase U.S.-powered submarines. It also helps scrap a $30 billion deal for submarines.

Johnson, however, reacted calmly to questions in parliament regarding relations with France.

Johnson said, “Our relationship to France, and our military relationship…is rock solid.”

We stand shoulder to shoulder with France, in Sahel where we run a joint operation against terrorists, Mali or in Estonia where we have the largest NATO operations.

China has criticised the defence agreement, saying it would cause serious damage to regional stability and peace.

Keir Sternmer (of the Labour Party) asked Johnson to explain how he ensured that Britain’s relations were not harmed by this deal.

Johnson responded: “It’s important that the House understand that AUKUS does not intend to be antagonistic towards any other power. It merely reflects our close relationship with Australia and the United States.”

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