50 years in Franco-British relations: timeline

9th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 9, 2006 (AFP) - Relations between France and Britain have rarely moved in a straight line, and the past 50 years have been no exception.

PARIS, June 9, 2006 (AFP) - Relations between France and Britain have rarely moved in a straight line, and the past 50 years have been no exception.

Highlights:

1956: Along with Israel, Britain and France unite in a military adventure seeking to prevent Egypt from nationalising the Suez Canal, a strategic waterway. The attack brings a furious response from the United States, which forces a humiliating ceasefire and withdrawal.

France and Britain draw opposing lessons from the debacle, with France concluding that the US cannot be trusted, and Britain that it can do nothing without the agreement of Washington.

1958: France's wartime leader Charles de Gaulle returns to power. In the same year he commits his country to an independent nuclear deterrent force. Britain's nuclear weapons, by contrast, are produced in tandem with the Americans.

1963 and 1967: On two occasions, de Gaulle vetoes Britain's bid to join the European Economic Community, known today as the European Union. De Gaulle accuses Britain of a "deep-seated hostility" to the European project.

1974: Five years after De Gaulle's death, Britain finally joins the EEC.

1991: Both countries provide forces for the US-led attack which expels the forces of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

2001: After the attacks of September 11 against the United States, Britain and France both take part in the resulting military action against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2002: France, along with its EU ally Germany and also Russia, refuses to take part in a US-led invasion of Iraq. Britain accepts, becoming a key ally of Washington in the war.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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