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Submarine crisis: “Europeans must come out of naivety”, says Macron

“Europeans must come out of naivety” by “drawing the consequences” of the new strategic choices of the United States, turned towards their rivalry with China, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

His reaction was expected. After the submarine crisis with Australia, Emmanuel Macron, for the very first time, publicly raised the subject on Tuesday, speaking of the need, especially for Europe, to no longer be dependent on the United States.

“Europeans must come out of naivety,” assured the French president. “The United States of America is great historical friends and allies in terms of values, but we are forced to note that for more than ten years the United States initially focused on itself, and has strategic interests which are reorienting themselves towards China and the Pacific “, he underlined.

The head of state also revived the idea of ​​European defense. “It is with the same pragmatism and the same lucidity that we as Europeans must take our share of our own protections (…) We are asked to assume more of our own protection, I think it is legitimate; it is therefore up to us to do it “, added Emmanuel Macron

The September 15 announcement of a strategic partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, which resulted in the cancellation of a French submarine mega-contract in Canberra, sparked a major diplomatic crisis between France and the United States.

The alliance between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom which deprived France of a contract for the supply of submarines “does not change France’s Indo-Pacific strategy in any way,” said Tuesday the French president.

The Aukus alliance, which led to a serious crisis following the cancellation of a contract for submarines (at 55 billion euros) which were to be delivered by France to Australia, “does not change in no way the strategy “of Paris in the Indo-Pacific, said Tuesday, September 28 Emmanuel Macron.

This strategy was “announced in early 2018 in India, we have several partners in the region” and “France is a power regardless of any contract, since we have a million compatriots living in this region and more than 8,000 soldiers who are deployed there “, declared the French president during a press conference with the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“The Europeans must come out of naivety” by “drawing the consequences” of the new strategic choices of the United States, turned towards their rivalry with China, also declared Emmanuel Macron.

“When we are under the effect of pressure from powers that sometimes harden, reacting, showing that we also have with us the power and the ability to defend ourselves is not giving in to escalation, it is simply making us respect “, he hammered during this press conference.

The French ambassador returns to Washington on Wednesday

These statements come after more than a week of tensions in US-French relations.

Australia’s sudden decision to cancel a contract with France to acquire 12 French submarines – and instead enter into a strategic partnership with the United States and Britain – angered Paris . France through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced a “blow in the back” and recalled last week its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra.

The French ambassador in Washington, recalled for consultations after the submarine crisis, will return to the United States on Wednesday with a clear mandate to establish the conditions for a re-engagement between the two countries, Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

The way out of the crisis between France and the United States will take “time” and demand “acts”, the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian and his American counterpart Antony Blinken said in unison on Thursday. after an interview in New York.

“Europeans must come out of naivety” in “drawing the consequences” new strategic choices of the United States, declared Tuesday, September 28 President Emmanuel Macron. “When we are under the effect of pressure from powers that sometimes harden, reacting, showing that we also have the power and the ability to defend ourselves is not giving in to escalation, it is simply making us respect “, he hammered during a press conference with the Greek Prime Minister, in reaction to the loss by France of the Australian contract for submarines to the benefit of the United States.

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