In an interview with France 24, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he was pleased with the joint statement on the phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden on the “submarine crisis” arising out of the AUKUS partnership between Australia, the UK and the US.
In a joint statement, “the two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners.” In addition, the US recognized the “importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the framework of the European Union’s recently published strategy for the Indo-Pacific.”
Stating that this needs to be implemented and it will take time, Borrell said that he will go to Washington next month to put forward a strategy in the field of security and defense between the USA and Europe and to prevent similar crises.
Borrell said that France and Europe have the right to know why they are not involved in the cooperation in the field of defense in the Indo-Pacific region, and that France’s military presence in the region is “the most important” among European countries.
“This problem is not just France’s. (European) Foreign ministers agreed that this is a problem that concerns the whole of Europe.” Borrell said that Europe wants to be in the Indo-Pacific region and that freedom of movement in the waters of the region is important to them.
Borrell pointed out that it would be difficult to exist in world politics if they were not included here, considering the economic dynamics in the region.
“Do you want Europe’s defense?” Responding to the question, Borrell said, “I get paid for this. I am responsible for developing it. My task is to develop a common policy in the field of security and defense.” he said.
Borrell, however, noted that this issue is not the common view of all European countries.
The French Ambassador to Washington will return to his post in the United States next week.