BAFL 52.51 Increased By ▲ 2.48 (4.96%)
BIPL 22.80 Increased By ▲ 0.39 (1.74%)
BOP 5.68 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (4.8%)
CNERGY 5.09 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.79%)
DFML 19.35 Increased By ▲ 0.17 (0.89%)
DGKC 80.80 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (0.81%)
FABL 33.10 Increased By ▲ 0.25 (0.76%)
FCCL 20.23 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.1%)
FFL 10.57 Increased By ▲ 0.92 (9.53%)
GGL 13.62 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.15%)
HBL 130.17 Increased By ▲ 8.83 (7.28%)
HUBC 122.62 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (0.1%)
HUMNL 8.05 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.63%)
KEL 4.45 Increased By ▲ 0.48 (12.09%)
LOTCHEM 27.92 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.57%)
MLCF 42.70 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (1.18%)
OGDC 125.61 Increased By ▲ 4.28 (3.53%)
PAEL 21.35 Increased By ▲ 1.12 (5.54%)
PIBTL 6.12 Increased By ▲ 0.32 (5.52%)
PIOC 118.00 Increased By ▲ 2.10 (1.81%)
PPL 113.85 Increased By ▲ 3.10 (2.8%)
PRL 31.80 Increased By ▲ 2.22 (7.51%)
SILK 1.10 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.85%)
SNGP 69.40 Increased By ▲ 0.37 (0.54%)
SSGC 13.72 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.15%)
TELE 9.24 Increased By ▲ 0.49 (5.6%)
TPLP 14.75 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.55%)
TRG 92.85 Increased By ▲ 1.55 (1.7%)
UNITY 27.50 Increased By ▲ 0.25 (0.92%)
WTL 1.66 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (1.84%)
BR100 6,815 Increased By 167.1 (2.51%)
BR30 24,245 Increased By 677 (2.87%)
KSE100 66,224 Increased By 1505.6 (2.33%)
KSE30 22,123 Increased By 529.1 (2.45%)

LONDON: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acclaimed Britain’s “essential” alliance with France ahead of a bridge-building summit in Paris Friday aimed at overcoming years of Brexit tension.

Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to adopt a new pact on cross-Channel illegal migration, as well as to vow more support for Ukraine and security in the Asia-Pacific region, Downing Street said.

They will meet at the Elysee presidential palace for the first UK-French summit in five years, after Sunak became prime minister in October, following the eventful tenures of Liz Truss and Boris Johnson.

Macron’s antipathy to the Brexit figurehead Johnson was barely concealed, while Truss said she didn’t know whether the French leader was a “friend or foe” during her campaign to become prime minister.

But both sides now see an opportunity to reset the “Entente Cordiale” between Western Europe’s two nuclear powers.

“Our deep history, our proximity and our shared global outlook mean that a firm partnership between the UK and France is not just valuable, it is essential,” Sunak said in a statement late Thursday.

He confirmed that the European Political Community – a Macron initiative formed after Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago – will be next hosted by Britain following an October summit in Spain.

Britain and France are working jointly to deter “the scourge of illegal migration”, Sunak also said.

“Beyond that, the UK and France also have a privileged role as defenders of European and global security,” he added.

“As we face new and unprecedented threats, it is vital that we fortify the structures of our alliance so we are ready to take on the challenges of the future.”

Sunak is under fierce pressure to thwart thousands of asylum seekers crossing the Channel, and this week unveiled legislation that critics said would make Britain an international outlaw on refugee rights.

Britain has been paying France to help patrol the Channel border, and a summit pact will focus on “increasing the resources deployed to manage this common border, with multi-year financing”, an aide to Macron said.

PM Sunak: If you come to UK illegally, you will not be able to stay

Although Britain’s exit from the European Union still bedevils ties, recent developments including an agreement to settle the EU trading status of Northern Ireland have created goodwill.


The two neighbours have also found common cause in supporting Ukraine against Russia.

Sunak and Macron will agree to “further coordinate both the supply of weapons to Ukraine and the training of Ukrainian marines”, the Downing Street statement said.

As well as Ukrainian soldiers and marines, Britain has undertaken to train Ukrainian pilots – although Western allies are wary of offering fighter jets to Kyiv.

“Bolstering these efforts through further joint UK and French training could see thousands more Ukrainians brought to battlefield readiness,” the statement said.

The leaders will further look at ensuring a “permanent presence of likeminded European partners” in the Asia-Pacific, “whose security is indivisible from that of Europe”, it said.

That includes coordinating the deployment of France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier with the Royal Navy’s brand-new carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

As part of the Sunak government’s post-Brexit outreach, the summit paves the way for King Charles III to make France his first foreign destination when he heads there on a state visit at the end of March.

While Johnson revelled in French-bashing, Sunak says he and Macron are “friends”. They share a professional background in banking, and a technocratic outlook.

“I would be careful to read too much into the ‘bromance’ but it’s true they come from a similar background and generation, which has an impact on how they see their countries’ roles in the world,” she told AFP.

“Both of them bring a new energy. Both sides really do want for this (summit) to be a success.”


Comments are closed.

UK hails ‘essential’ French alliance ahead of breakthrough summit

Palestinian Authority working with US on postwar plan for Gaza

Inter-bank: rupee sees 9th consecutive gain against US dollar

PML-N demands not power, but accountability: Nawaz Sharif

Open market: rupee edges higher against US dollar

Former finance minister Shaukat Tarin quits PTI, politics

Imran’s statement on Afghan refugees an attempt to gain ‘sympathy of Afghan govt’: info minister

ECP issues notice to PTI regarding petitions challenging intra-party polls

OGDCL discovers hydrocarbon reserves in Sindh

NAB summons Bushra Bibi on December 11 in Toshakhana case

Supporting agriculture sector: SBP greenlights HBL’s Zarai Services