France’s Le Drian highlights lasting rift with UK, Australia – POLITICO


PARIS – There has been no enchancment in France’s ties with Australia and the U.Ok. almost two months after the diplomatic crises that erupted over their new safety settlement with the U.S.

“Things have indeed not moved with Australia, whose prime minister is digging in his heels with denial and contradictions,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian mentioned in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde. “With the United Kingdom, almost a year after Brexit, what strikes me the most is that everything is happening as if their Global Britain strategy involves the whole world, except Europe.”

But, Le Drian mentioned, “Trust is being reestablished with the United States of America.”

He pointed to latest conversations between French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden, in addition to visits U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris paid to Paris since France misplaced an enormous submarine deal because of the trilateral safety settlement between Australia, the U.Ok. and U.S.

Contacts between Macron and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison have been much less cordial, with the 2 exchanging accusations of lies and deceit on the margins of the G20 final month.

Le Drian additionally described a hardening worldwide context, with resurgent rogue powers like Russia and China flouting all established guidelines — although he prevented calling them out.

“Our competitors have neither taboos nor limits: They project private militias everywhere, hijack planes, blow up satellites, they subjugate peoples, syphon off resources on some continents,” Le Drian mentioned, including that Europe nonetheless had a method to go so as to have the ability to affirm itself on this context.

Le Drian was additionally coy on whether or not Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had determined to make use of migrants to stress the EU on the Polish and Lithuanian borders in live performance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addition to on reported Russian army build-up on the border with Ukraine.

But he defended the resumption of high-level talks between France and Russia throughout a ministerial assembly in Paris final week, saying that whereas there are “Deep disagreements” on the Sahel and Ukraine, there are additionally convergences on Iran, Afghanistan or the Caucasus.





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