By Ebi Kesiena
French President, Emmanuel Macron has said Europe must stop being naive when defending its interests and developing its own military capacity, after a new security pact led to a transatlantic diplomatic crisis.
Paris reacted furiously after Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a trilateral agreement for the Indo-Pacific region, dubbed AUKUS, earlier this month.
The deal led to Australia scrapping a multibillion-dollar deal with France to build conventional submarines. It will instead acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology.
Speaking publicly for the first time on the issue, Macron on Tuesday called for more European autonomy as Washington increasingly focuses on the Indo-Pacific region, where China’s growing influence has worried Western powers.
“The Europeans must stop being naïve.
“When we are under pressure from powers, we need to react and show that we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves. Not escalating things, but protecting ourselves,” he stated.