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Behind Macron's back ... The AUKUS deal and its implications for the Middle East

Behind Macron’s back … The AUKUS deal and its implications for the Middle East

According to CNN, the French ambassador to the United States stressed in an interview on Monday that the collapse of the Franco-Australian submarine deal last week came as a surprise to Paris.

Speaking on the French radio station RTL, Ambassador Philippe Etienne said there was no indication that Canberra would cancel the deal when French government ministers met with their Australian counterparts just days before announcing the alternative deal with the US and UK.

Paris has reacted angrily after Australia dropped a $ 90 billion ($ 65 billion) submarine deal with France in support of a new military deal with the United States and the United Kingdom.

Under an agreement called AUKUS, technology to build nuclear-powered submarines in Australia will be provided, which was agreed upon prior to the purchase of the traditionally operated ships Canberra from Paris.

France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia on Friday in response to the loss of the submarine contract.
Etienne said his departure from Washington was “really a reaction” from the French government and “indicates the intensity of our reaction.” He said senior members of Macron’s management are still discussing what to do next.
“As soon as we learned of the new agreement, I asked to meet with White House officials. But it was a little late,” Etienne said. Nothing can be done.

The Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, pointed out that French and European anger over an agreement recently announced by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom could have repercussions in the Middle East.

France says it has recalled ambassadors from the United States and the United Kingdom since the deal was announced. According to the BBC, the French foreign minister said the “exceptional decision” was justified by the “exceptional attraction” of the situation.
Observers described the AUKUS agreement as a way to strengthen Australia, a key ally of the United States and the United Kingdom, against China. However, this appears to have affected the agreement between France and Australia and was announced without other French or European details.
It forms the Five Eyes Network of countries with historical ties to the United Kingdom. Canada and New Zealand, which are part of the Five Eyes, did not participate in the AUKUS.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are working closely to formulate their policies in the region. The United Kingdom was a key ally of the United States in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Australia and the United States have been very supportive of Israel for many years, with the current British Prime Minister being close to Israel.

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France plays a key role in the region, but its policies sometimes deviate from US taxes. For example, France has interests in Lebanon that are not always in the interests of the United States.

France has shown flexibility in its negotiations with Hezbollah. In addition, France attended the last meeting in Baghdad, which was attended by Turkey, Iran and other major countries. The United States and the United Kingdom did not attend the meeting.

What this shows is that France wants to play a more powerful role in the Middle East, while the United States and the United Kingdom may change policies towards the region.