Canberra. Ministers in the Australian government have finally welcomed France’s decision to send back its ambassador to Australia. Ministers in the Australian government said they hope both countries can deal with the damage caused by the canceled submarine contract.
Josh Friedenberg, deputy leader and treasurer of the ruling conservative Liberal Party, told Nine Network TV: “We welcome France’s decision to send its ambassador back to Australia and look forward to moving forward with recent developments.” ‘
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The US, Britain and Australia on September 15 announced a new trilateral security alliance ‘Aukus’ (AUKUS) for the strategically important region amid China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific. Its purpose was to protect common interests and better share defense capabilities, including helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
Following this agreement, Australia canceled a 90 billion Australian dollar ($66 billion) deal with the French state-owned naval conglomerate to build 12 conventional ‘diesel-electric’ submarines. After this, France had recalled its ambassadors from America and Australia last month.
Why France changed its decision
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary committee, ‘I have now asked my ambassador to return to Canberra with two goals. To help redefine the terms of our relationship with Australia in the future and to protect our interests in the implementation of Australia’s decision to end the submarine program in the future.’
However, it is not yet clear how much the termination of the contract signed in 2016 will cost Australia. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, however, said that Australia had spent 2.4 billion Australian dollars on the project. Friedenberg said Australia and France share many common interests in the region, ‘particularly in working together in the region’. He said, ‘So let’s hope that we will get our relationship back on track.’
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US Secretary of State arrived in France
Recently, US Secretary of State Antoine Blinken arrived in France to end the tension between Australia and France after the Ocus Agreement. Britain and America are constantly trying to persuade France. In a French television interview after the meeting with Macron, Blinken accepted American responsibility for the differences.
Blinken said, ‘We could and should have talked better.’ “Sometimes we don’t understand the true value of a very important and deep relationship like the one between France and America,” he said. (with agency input)
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