US, France to discuss navy coordination in Strait of Hormuz

US and France set to discuss coordination in the Strait of Hormuz following threats posed by Iran. (File photo: AFP)

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.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00