UK offers France use of airbase in Cyprus for actions in Syria against Daesh

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 23.11.2015 15:18
This file picture taken on October 21, 2015 shows the entrance to the British Royal Air Force base of Akrotiri in Cyprus (AFP photo)
This file picture taken on October 21, 2015 shows the entrance to the British Royal Air Force base of Akrotiri in Cyprus (AFP photo)

British Prime Minister David Cameron offered France the use of the Royal Air Force (RAF) base at Akrotiri in Cyprus for actions in Syria against the Daesh terrorist group.

Speaking in Paris on Monday after meeting French President Francois Hollande, Cameron said the two leaders agreed to increase counterterrorism cooperation. He called for greater European Union-wide efforts to share intelligence to stop the terrorists.

"The United Kingdom will do all in our power to support our friend and ally France to defeat this evil death cult," he said.

Britain will also invest an extra 12 billion pounds ($18 billion) in defence equipment over the next 10 years including nine Boeing submarine-hunting aircraft, Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Cameron will set out a five-year defence and security plan to parliament on Monday focused on making sure Britain is able to respond to a variety of threats including the rise of Daesh terrorists, the crisis in Ukraine, and cyber attacks.

"This government has taken a clear decision to invest in our security and safeguard our prosperity," Cameron wrote in the foreword to the review, published in advance by his office.

"We cannot choose between conventional defences against state-based threats and the need to counter threats that do not recognise national borders. Today we face both and we must respond to both."

He will announce defence equipment spending will rise to 178 billion pounds over the next decade, including investing in nine Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft which will help protect Britain's nuclear deterrent and fill a gap left by a decision to scrap the Nimrod spy-plane programme in 2010.

Britain will also create two rapidly deployable, 5,000-strong "strike brigades" by 2025 and extend the life of its Typhoon fighter jets by 10 years to create an extra two squadrons.

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