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France, U.S. seek to ease tension over arms export rules

30 October 2021 [12:57] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend

France and the United States agreed on Friday to explore making arms export rules more effective, addressing a long-running source of friction as their leaders met for the first time since a spat over a U.S. security pact with Britain and Australia, Trend reports citing Reuters.

"The presidents intend to launch a U.S.-France defense trade strategic dialogue to foster a shared view on defense market access and export issues," U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron said in a joint statement after talks in Rome on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

The two governments pledged to "identify steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of defense export authorizations," the statement added.

France has been seeking clarity over a set of U.S. arms export controls known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which allow Washington to block the re-export of sensitive U.S. components embedded in foreign weapons.

French and European defense companies have blamed ITAR for hampering their exports to third countries in the past, while U.S. arms firms have campaigned to keep the rules flexible enough to avoid putting too tight a lid on their own arms sales.

"We reached a number of bilateral cooperation agreements, several of which are critical in my view, firstly on arms exports," Macron told reporters after meeting Biden.

"Why? Because we need to clarify the ITAR rules, failing which our policies can be blocked completely. So we opened a process to deconflict the issue and work together."

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/211533.html

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