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France-Australia: Offer for cooperation on submarines "on the table", Macron assures

France-Australia: Offer for cooperation on submarines “on the table”, Macron assures

A broken deal… but soon to be renewed? Emmanuel Macron said Thursday in Bangkok Offer of French cooperation in submarines with Australia was “on the table”. “She’s known, she’s at the table,” he said a day after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

Canberra led to the conclusion of the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom To cancel a mega deal in 2021 To acquire twelve French conventional submarines, It is built in Australia. The Oceania country has decided to buy nuclear-powered submarines from either the US or Britain, a major shift for a country with a weak nuclear capability.

However, the delivery of these submarines will take time as the Australians need to quickly update their capabilities in the face of China’s growing influence in the region. “We will see how they adapt to the difficulties,” Emmanuel Macron said, noting that “for now, they have not decided to change their strategy in this regard.”

Conventional or nuclear submarines?

Labor’s Anthony Albanese, Australia’s new prime minister since May, has pledged with Emmanuel Macron to mend damaged bilateral ties between the two countries. “A fundamental choice is whether or not they manufacture submarines domestically or decide to go nuclear,” the French president noted.

The Head of State recalled that France did not supply nuclear-powered submarines to foreign countries, so the offer was routine. “We’ve never been in a strategy like this,” he said. The French solution offers an alternative that guarantees Australia’s “independence and sovereignty”, recalling that submarines will be built there.

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The Crisis with Australia It has severely undermined France’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which has many territories and maritime spaces in the region and wants to gain a foothold there. President Macron will try to relaunch these strategic ambitions at the APEC summit in Bangkok, where he will be the first European head of state to be invited.

“In this highly competitive region which is the scene of a conflict between the two leading world powers (..) our strategy is: defense of freedom and sovereignty, balance of maritime freedom, balanced cultural exchanges, exchanges economy, development of technologies. Without a hegemonic model”, underlined Emmanuel Macron. .