On Monday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticized the “lack of prior consultations on the security partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia and the cancellation of the nuclear submarine contract with France.”
This came in a statement issued by the office of the European official after his meeting with Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, which will start at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
“The Borrell and Payne meeting was an opportunity to discuss the latest developments as well as the relations between the European Union and Australia,” said the statement, a copy of which reached The Eastern Herald.
He added: “The two parties discussed the recent announcement of the security partnership between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia and the cancellation of the submarine contract with France.”
“Borrell inquired about the lack of prior consultations and regretted that this partnership excludes European partners that have a strong presence in the Pacific,” the statement continued.
Borrell stressed, according to the statement, that “the current challenges to stability in the region require more cooperation and coordination between partners.”
“The EU will reflect and discuss this issue internally, as well as with all EU member states,” Borrell told the Australian foreign minister.
The two parties agreed, according to the statement, to “remain in contact on the relations between the European Union and Australia, and work towards overcoming the challenges created by recent events.”
Relations between France on the one hand and the United States and Australia on the other entered an open crisis, Thursday, after Australia canceled the deal to buy French submarines and replace them with American nuclear-powered ones.
The cancellation of the deal prompted Paris to describe the matter as “betrayal and a stab in the back.”