Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton has announced that his country’s defense deal with the United Kingdom and the United States will allow Washington to strengthen its military presence in Australia, while the deal angered Paris, who said he was unaware of it. Indicates a diplomatic crisis with Washington.
Dutton said at a press conference in the framework of bilateral talks in Washington that the security agreement provides for “significant enhancement” of cooperation and cooperation between Australian and US forces.
The U.S. military already has a permanent presence in Darwin, northern Australia, where about 2,500 Marines conduct rotation exercises each year.
The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced on Wednesday that they would break the French-designed submarine agreement and establish a security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
“It will improve our air capabilities, our naval capabilities, and of course our military posture,” Dutton said.
Dutton says the two countries will establish “joint capabilities” in the field of submarines and submarine maintenance in Australia, and they will intensify joint exercises.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced in Canberra that Australia will also receive US Tomahawk ship missiles.
France reacted angrily to the $ 40 billion loss of the deal, calling the US move a “back punch”.
In 2016, Australia selected a French shipbuilding fleet to build a new $ 40 billion submarine to replace more than two decades of Collins submarines.
A spokesman for the French embassy in Washington denied that the United States had announced to France a new alliance between Canberra and London, which would help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
A spokesman for the French embassy explained that his country had not been notified of the plan until the first reports in the US and Australian press, just hours before US President Joe Biden’s official announcement.
The French news agency quoted a French official as saying that French authorities had canceled a contract to deliver French submarines to the French ambassador’s residence in Washington on Friday evening.
For his part, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described Australia’s retreat from the purchase of French submarines as a betrayal of trust in Paris Canberra. Le Trian – in a statement to France Info – expressed his anger at Australia’s position, insisting that the issue would not end once Australia announced the cancellation of the deal.
On the other hand, a White House official praised – to Al Jazeera – the Washington, London and Canberra Security Agreement, emphasizing that Washington is working closely with Paris on common priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, and will continue to do so.
The revival of the alliance and partnership to support the international body is to strengthen long-standing historical ties, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and our allies in the European Union.
The U.S. official added that his country looks forward to working with the EU to advance common goals in the region, including China’s negotiations.
Senior U.S. executives contacted their French counterparts to discuss the “new military agreement with Australia” released on Wednesday, citing a senior White House official in France-Press.
“As the President (Biden) said on Wednesday, we will work closely with France on our shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region and we will continue to do so,” the official said.
For his part, White House spokesman Zhen Zaki said the United States welcomes the rivalry with China and does not seek conflict with it.
Zaki added that his country will continue to work and cooperate with allies and allies in Europe to ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific region. He noted the United States’ appreciation for its relations with France and noted that Australia’s acquisition of American technologies was a matter for Australians. Zaki revealed that the Americans had spoken with French officials before concluding a deal to sell the submarines to Australia.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen has said that under the “Axis” initiative announced by President Joe Biden, his country, Britain and Australia will enhance their cooperation in the fields of defense and defense. Blinken stressed that the initiative reflects the commitment of the three countries to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Wang Kun, China’s representative to international organizations in Vienna, expressed Beijing’s deep concern over US and British aid to Australia’s possession of nuclear-powered submarines.
Ahead of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s governing body, the Chinese representative said the move would promote nuclear proliferation and violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Chinese envoy told the International Atomic Energy Agency that Australia should openly disclose its official position on its partnership with the United States and Britain, which had purchased nuclear submarines in violation of the obligations of the three countries involved.
The United States and its allies are looking for ways to counter China’s growing power and influence, especially its military structure, pressure on Taiwan and its suspension in the disputed South China Sea.
For his part, Joseph Borel, the EU’s High Commissioner for Foreign Policy, has hastily changed an independent decision for the Union more than ever, which protects its sovereignty and enables it to make decisions directly related to its interests.
Borel added that it was necessary to end the partnership with the South Pacific region on the basis of a plan that includes security cooperation, environmental diversity and security exchange.
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