© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump at the NATO leaders summit in Watford

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday discussed the security of telecommunications networks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the White House said, as Britain nears a decision on Huawei’s role in the country’s future 5G network.

“The two leaders discussed important regional and bilateral issues, including working together to ensure the security of our telecommunications networks,” the White House said in a statement about the phone call.

Britain is expected to make a final call later this month on how to deploy Huawei equipment in its future 5G networks. The United States has voiced significant concerns about the Chinese telecoms behemoth, which Washington fears could compromise British secrets.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, denies it is a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.

British officials have proposed granting Huawei a limited role in the UK’s future 5G network, resisting U.S. calls for a complete ban, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

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2020-01-24