Macron to pitch better EU position in Indo-Pacific after AUKUS disaster

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PARIS, Oct 4 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will inform his European friends the AUKUS disaster may very well be a chance to make the case to the United States that the European Union can play a strategic position within the Indo-Pacific, French officers mentioned on Monday.

Australia’s determination to cancel an enormous submarine contract with France and go for U.S.-designed vessels as an alternative as a part of a brand new safety alliance with Washington and Britain to counter China has riled France and brought on rigidity between Western allies.

“We could turn a blind eye and act as if nothing had happened. We think that would be a mistake for all Europeans,” an adviser to Macron informed reporters. “There really is an opportunity here.”

European Union nations can play a strategic position within the Indo-Pacific area with the United States by way of commerce, safety, defence and defending freedom of navigation, the official mentioned, with out elaborating.

Macron will participate in an off-the-cuff summit of EU leaders in Slovenia on Tuesday throughout which he’ll replace his counterparts on his dialog with U.S. President Joe Biden final month after France briefly recalled its ambassador to Washington.

“We don’t want to push Europeans into making a sort of binary choice between partnership with the U.S. or Europe turning inward,” the Macron adviser mentioned.

“The issue is how to create the conditions for a partnership in the best interests of Europeans, knowing the United States obviously remain our allies.”

Macron has struggled to persuade all EU member states to get on board along with his push for European “strategic autonomy” within the discipline of defence, with many in japanese Europe particularly seeing this as probably weakening the transatlantic safety alliance.

France, with abroad territories within the Pacific and Indian Ocean and seven,000 troops stationed there, considers itself an Indo-Pacific energy and had struck arms and safety offers with India and, till just lately, Australia, to guard its pursuits.

Reporting by Michel Rose
Editing by Mark Heinrich

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks during the One Planet Summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. Michel Euler/Pool via REUTERS