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US, France to discuss navy coordination in Strait of Hormuz

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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 US 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 [Arabian] 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 US-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.