PARIS (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper and his French counterpart will discuss on Saturday how France’s navy could coordinate with Washington to ensure freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, a senior U.S. defense official said on Friday.
“We recognize that France has an interest in participating in freedom of navigation, bringing freedom of navigation capabilities to the Gulf and we will be looking to find ways to harness and use that interest to better coordinate with our own initiative,” the official told reporters in a conference call ahead of Esper’s meeting with Florence Parly in Paris.
France has ruled out joining a U.S.-led coalition of countries protecting oil tankers and cargo ships from threats posed by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, but has pushed for a European alternative.
Reporting by John Irish; editing by Richard Lough
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