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France and Britain focus on ties that bind

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 02:35

Feb. 17 - British PM Cameron and French President Sarkozy, their first face to face encounter since a public spat over the euro crisis, focus on common ties. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives In Paris Friday for a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, their first face-to-face encounter since a public spat over how to deal with the euro zone crisis. At a news conference the two leaders played down their differences. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON SAYING: "And I believe it's a relationship that is easily strong enough to survive the odd bump or bounce when we sometimes have a disagreement. That is what politicians do and that is what friends do as well. Let me be cheeky and answer the question about the election. As I said, I admire Nicolas Sarkozy's leadership, his courage. I think he's achieved great things for his country. Clearly the future is an issue for the French people. But I make those points, I believe those points. But I'm not altogether sure that if I made them on the campaign trail in France, they might have the effect my friend would want them to have." He also emphasized where the two leaders found common ground. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON SAYING: "And I would say when you look across the foreign policy and defense policy issues we've discussed today, I don't think that there's been closer French-British cooperation than at any time since the Second World War. Not just in Libya, but also on the vital issues of Syria, Iran, Somalia and of course the defense cooperation which our teams have been discussing today and we've talked about too." Sarkozy dismissed talk of tension between the two leaders and spoke about what is needed in Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "We couldn't do the Libyan revolution without the Libyans. And we cannot do the Syrian revolution unless the opposition in Syria makes the effort to unite and organize itself so that we can help them more. We don't accept, we won't accept that a dictator massacres his people. But the revolution can't be carried from the outside. It will be driven from the interior." Last December, Cameron infuriated other European Union members and sparked speculation about Britain's place in the bloc when he vetoed an EU treaty that forced euro zone countries to negotiate outside the Union. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

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France and Britain focus on ties that bind

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 02:35