On Monday evening, European foreign ministers expressed their support for France in the diplomatic dispute over the purchase of submarines. This was stated by Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign affairs coordinator, after a meeting of ministers ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Earlier on Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told CNN that “one of our member states was treated in an unacceptable way”.
According to Josep Borrell, the decision on French submarines contradicts the European Union’s call for further cooperation. “The current instability in the Indo-Pacific region calls for more coordination between like-minded partners, and less confrontation.”
Last week, the US, UK and Australia announced the new AUKUS security alliance, to counter Chinese military advances. Part of this is building a fleet of nuclear submarines in Australia, which are manufactured by the United States. The plans mean that Australia cancels a previous submarine deal with France, leaving the French government of about $56 billion. In response to the plans, France withdrew its ambassadors from the United States and Australia.
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