Sparring partners David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy have put aside their differences and announced new deals to improve civil nuclear energy co-operation and defence at a summit in Paris.The pair announced their plans to push ahead with a pilot-less “fighter drone” program between the two countries, according to the Independent. The plan will involve the cooperation of Britain’s BAE and France’s Dassault.
Additionally, the BBC reports that the UK coalition government said the separate nuclear agreement, worth more than £500 million ($790 million) would create 1,500 UK jobs.
Rolls-Royce is expected to win a £400 million ($632 million) share in the building of the first of the planned power plants, and France’s Areva will supply the core of the nuclear reactors.
The apparently amicable summit, where the two leaders also discussed greater military co-operation, the threat of Iran, and the unrest in Syria, is a departure from the frostiness that has characterised the relationship between Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in recent times, despite their co-operation in Libya and their similar views of Syria.
But Cameron insisted he admires Sarkozy, and believes he will defeat presidential rival Francois Hollande in the upcoming elections, the Guardian reports (Hollande is due for a visit to the UK next week, incidentally).
“When you look across the foreign policy and defence policy issues we discussed today, I don’t think that there has been closer French-British cooperation than at any time since the Second World War,” Cameron said, according to AFP.
Cameron added that the two countries shared a relationship that was “strong enough to survive the odd bump or bounce when we sometimes have a disagreement.”
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