Emmanuel Macron does not bury cooperation with Australia on submarines


The day after he met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on the sidelines of the meeting G20 summit in BaliEmmanuel Macron said on Thursday, November 17, that the offer of submarine cooperation with Australia is still valid, explaining that it is about conventionally powered submarines. “It is known, and it is still on the table,” said the French president from Bangkok, where he is taking part in the APEC summit.

He led the conclusion of the Aukus Alliance between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom Canberra cancels its mega contract in 2021 for the acquisition of twelve conventional French submarines, which would otherwise have been built in Australia.

Australia decided to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US or Britain instead, a big change for a country with weak nuclear capabilities.

But the delivery of these submarines is likely to take time as the Australians must quickly renew their capabilities in the face of China’s growing influence in the region.

“We will see how they cope with the difficulties,” Emmanuel Macron said, noting that “for the time being, they have not decided to change their strategy on this issue,” although this has happened since May. New Prime Minister, Labour, Anthony AlbaneseWho pledged with Emmanuel Macron to repair the damaged bilateral relations between the two countries.

“Freedom and sovereignty”

“There is a fundamental choice whether or not they will produce submarines at home or whether or not they decide to switch to nuclear energy,” Emmanuel Macron noted.

The head of state noted that France does not offer nuclear submarines abroad, and therefore the offer remains traditional. “We had not adopted a strategy like this before,” he said.

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He pointed out that the French solution offers Australia an alternative that guarantees its “freedom and sovereignty,” noting that the submarines would have been built there.

The crisis with Australia has seriously undermined the French “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which includes many territories and sea spaces in the region and intends to have a place there.

President Macron will try to re-launch these strategic ambitions at the APEC summit in Bangkok, where he will be the first European president to be called.

“In this highly contested region, which is the scene of confrontation between the two leading global powers (..) our strategy is: to defend freedom and sovereignty, balances that preserve maritime freedoms, balanced cultural exchanges, economic exchanges, and the development of technologies without a dominant model,” Emmanuel Macron confirmed.

With AFP


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