New York The European Union may delay preparations for trade and technology talks with the United States in protest of the US and British submarine deal with Australia. On Tuesday, Reuters news agency reported, citing EU diplomats in Brussels, that agreed discussions on the September 29 meeting in Pittsburgh had initially been put on hold. According to the information from Handelsblatt, no decision has been made yet.
And the European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has previously described the submarine deal as “unacceptable”. In fact, EU member France was supposed to deliver submarines to Australia.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also criticized the security alliance. “What was decided there and the way in which this decision was made is disturbing,” the Social Democrat politician said shortly before US President Joe Biden’s speech at the beginning of the UN general debate in New York “It is a matter of concern, not only for France.”
So far, the federal government has been very reluctant to comment on the alliance. Maas is now clearer in New York: “What we see there has made many things more difficult. I’m afraid it will be more difficult for some time,” said the Social Democrat politician. “I understand very well the anger of our French friends.”
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Maas said he does not see any new “hardening” with regard to the United States. But he never had any illusions that there would be no problems with the new US President Biden. Europe must now think about how to achieve more sovereignty. “It will ultimately be up to us in Europe whether we can do it or not.”
EU foreign ministers stand in solidarity with Paris
Secretary of State for Europe Michael Roth also expressed sympathy for France’s disappointment. “We all have to sit at the same table, and you also have to regain the confidence that’s been lost here, and of course it won’t be easy,” he added. “It has been proven time and time again that the EU’s action as one is of paramount importance.”
EU foreign ministers dealt with the conflict on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and then declared their solidarity with the French government. More cooperation, better coordination and less fragmentation are needed to achieve stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said on Monday.
Green Party foreign policy spokesman Omid Nouripur has called on the federal government to mediate the submarine dispute. “The order of the day should be that Germany, as one of the non-smallest countries in Europe, now stands up and tries to claim reason and stability,” he told Phoenix TV.
France appointed ambassadors
Australia, Great Britain and the United States on Thursday announced an Indo-Pacific security agreement — shortly after the European Union adopted new guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region. Among other things, the agreement stipulates that Australia will build nuclear-powered submarines using technology from the two partners.
This means that the $40 billion conventional submarine supply agreed with French shipping company Naval in 2016 is outdated. Outraged by the cancellation, France recalled the ambassadors of Canberra and Washington.
France also threatened to block the free trade agreement between the European Union and Australia. The French shipyard initially triumphed against German competition for Australia’s order.
moreA nuclear submarine deal between the United States and Australia angers China and its allies in the European Union
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