France removes Australia as 'strategic partner' in a new Indo-Pacific strategy

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Feb 23, 2022, 02:25 PM(IST)

File photo of Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

France will now cooperate with Australia on a "case-by-case basis" 

France has removed Australia from its list of close "strategic partners" as the European nation plans a new Indo-Pacific strategy. 

This comes in the aftermath of a diplomatic row that erupted when the United States, United Kingdom and Australia announced a new defence deal last year in September. 

As per the agreement (Aukus), the US and UK will help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines in the Pacific region, however, France had said that it has been "stabbed in the back" by Australia. 

The agreement was signed at a cost of angering France as UK Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed plans to scrap a $90 billion deal to buy submarines from France. 

In the latest development, a document issued by French President Emmanuel Macron's government revealed the country's new Indo-Pacific Strategy, which saw a significant change.  

In the updated version of the strategy, the European nation said it would now cooperate with Australia on a "case-by-case basis".

The French government explains, "Australia’s decision in September 2021, without prior consultation or warning, to break off the partnership of trust with France that included the Future Submarine Programme (FSP), has led to a re‐evaluation of the past strategic partnership [between] the two countries."

"France will pursue bilateral cooperation with Australia on a case‐by‐case basis, according to its national interests and those of regional partners," it said. 

"France intends to maintain close relations with the United States, an ally and major player in the Indo‐Pacific, and to strengthen coordination, including on issues raised by the announcement of the Aukus agreement," it added. 

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