Australia opened a diplomatic crisis with France in mid-September by canceling the $65 billion submarine project.
The ocean rim country’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan has reported that negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and Australia have been delayed by a month after Canberra’s decision to scrap an agreement with France to build submarines. .
“I will meet with my EU counterpart Valdis Dombrobskis next week to speak at the twelfth round of negotiations, which will take place in November instead of October,” a statement from Tehan said. Australia and the European Union will strengthen our relationship.”
The minister also indicated that he understood the “French reaction” to his country’s decision on submarines, but noted that “any country must act in its national interest, which is what Australia did.”
Australia opened a diplomatic crisis with France in mid-September by scrapping the $65 billion (about €56 billion) project shortly after announcing an agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom, which had been the development of nuclear submarines. oceanic state.
On September 21, the European Union expressed its solidarity with France before canceling the contract and raised the tone with the United States not to communicate its plans for the AUKUS (English initials) defense alliance, putting the focus in the Indo-Pacific region, which is of great global interest and where it is considered China is one of the most important players in it.
Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said Friday that a trade agreement with the European Union, Australia’s third trading partner, will be finalized.
“I am confident that we will continue to work towards securing an agreement between Australia and the European Union that benefits all countries involved,” Birmingham commented in an interview with Sky News on Australian cable television.
According to European Union data, the European bloc is Australia’s third trading partner, and the trade balance between the two countries amounted to 36 thousand million euros (about 42,700 million dollars) in goods and 26 thousand million (about 30,800 million dollars) in goods and services.
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