Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Saturday June 11 that his government had reached a 555 million euro agreement with Naval Group, a subsidiary of Thales, after the Australian government unilaterally terminated a contract last September for the delivery of 12 French submarines.
“This is a fair and just settlement,” Anthony Albanese told a news conference. In a statement released Saturday, Naval Group said it had signed “a fair deal ending Australia’s future submarine program” with Canberra, without giving further details.
Canberra canceled in September a contract of 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros) signed with Naval Group to acquire 12 French nuclear submarines, in favor of a partnership with the United States and Great Britain causing a diplomatic crisis with Paris.
The defeat in May of the then Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and the election of a new head of government, Anthony Albanese, has since enabled a warming of relations between France and Australia to begin. .
“Given the gravity of the challenges we face in the region and globally, it is essential that Australia and France come together again to uphold our common principles and interests,” the Prime Minister said. Australian in a separate statement released on Saturday.
A long-awaited meeting
Australia, the United States, France and their partners have expressed concern over China’s growing influence in the Pacific, a region that has traditionally been under their control.
“We deeply respect France’s role and its active engagement in the Indo-Pacific,” said Anthony Albanese, adding that he was eager to respond to French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to visit Paris.
The French Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu for his part announced on Saturday morning that he would meet, at his request, the Australian Minister of Defense. “We must look to the future and rebuild cooperation on new bases,” wrote Sébastien Lecornu on Twitter.