France/UK/defense and security cooperation
London, November 9 , 2011
The senior level group, established under the Lancaster House treaty for defence and security cooperation, met today in London under the auspices of the UK Cabinet Office and the French Presidency. It was the second time after its first formal meeting in Paris in July.
The successful outcome of Operation Unified Protector in Libya bolstered our partnership and further demonstrated the relevance of the numerous projects announced at our summit last year.
The parties examined the lessons to be learned at NATO and bilaterally from this UK and French-led effort. In particular, our engagement side by side in Libya confirmed the need to develop flexible, highly effective and rapidly deployable military capabilities, like the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force.
The parties also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Somalia, and in the Middle East, and the threat from cyberattacks and terrorist plots. They also discussed ways for Europe to be more effective and capable through NATO and the EU common security and defence policy.
Regarding Iran, the parties shared their utmost concern regarding the military dimension to Iran’s nuclear programme in the light of today’s IAEA report and made clear their determination to seek new powerful sanctions if Iran refuses to cooperate. Our goal remains to ensure that Iran fully adheres to her international obligations.
Our cooperation covers the full spectrum of security and defence matters. Today’s review confirms that our cooperation on defence equipment and industry is well on track, on projects and systems such as UAV, submarine technologies, missile industry, satellite communications, research and technology, as well as on counterterrorism and cyber-security.
We are confident that we can reach, by the 2 December Anglo-French summit, many of the objectives set at our last summit and develop new projects. We encourage all relevant stakeholders in government and industry to continue the good work./.