Leaders to meet at Anglo-French summit over possible military advice to Free Syrian Army as well as separate defence deals.
David Cameron and the French president Nicolas Sarkozyare to meet in Paris on Friday to discuss a possible increase in help to Syrian rebels, including giving them military advice. The meeting, held in the context of the annual Anglo-French summit, will occur the day after Sarkozy is expected formally to declare his intention to run for a second term as French president. The two leaders are likely to discuss what practical help they can give the Free Syrian Army, and how best to progress ideas for a UN-Arab League peacekeeping force.
A string of defence deals, including for drones, are also due to be announced involving co-operation between BAE Systems and Dassault. Sarkozy is currently badly trailing the French Socialist candidate for president, François Hollande, by 10 points in the polls, and has enlisted the help of the German chancellor Angela Merkel in an effort to gain momentum. Hollande has said he wanted to woo Britain back into the heart of Europe and sought to reassure the City of London it should not fear his drive for more regulation of the financial world.