Discussions on the proposed merger between aerospace firms EADS and BAE have moved forward, but the companies must decide whether enough progress has been made, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said on Tuesday.
He said officials from BAE and EADS, which must decide by Wednesday whether to seek more time from British stock market regulators, would meet soon to decide whether to seek an extension.
"We had made a lot of progress, I think, but have we progressed enough? That is up to those who initiated the project to say," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO Defense ministers in Brussels.
The approaches of the French, British and German governments at the start were different, he said.
"They have moved noticeably closer together but have they moved closed enough for the companies to think it is worth (asking for) an extension? That is up to them to say," he said.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Sebastian Moffett)