Australia, France sign military cooperation deal

15th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 14, 2006 (AFP) - Australia and France on Thursday signed an agreement on military cooperation designed to enhance their ability to work together, the defence ministry in Paris said.

PARIS, Dec 14, 2006 (AFP) - Australia and France on Thursday signed an agreement on military cooperation designed to enhance their ability to work together, the defence ministry in Paris said.

Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie of France signed the deal during a visit to Paris by her Australian counterpart Brendan Nelson.

"Since the end of French nuclear tests in the Pacific, France and Australia have moved closer in the areas of defence and security," said the ministry.

The agreement is therefore aimed at facilitating operations by the French navy in the Asia-Pacific region.

"France is present in New Caledonia and Polynesia and may act in the region in areas such as combating piracy, drug trafficking or terrorism, or rescue operations," said the ministry.

Alliot-Marie and Brendan also discussed arms contracts, including the European NH-90 transport helicopter for which Australia has shown interest.

The French minister also proposed exchanging military satellite images of joint interest.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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