France and Australia to relaunch trilateral initiative with India to counter China

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The foreign ministers of India, France and Australia will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York later this month and reinvigorate trilateral initiatives to counter the China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar received French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in New Delhi and they agreed to set up a fund to support India-based innovators and start-ups to set up in third countries, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. They also agreed to launch a new India-France dialogue on space security issues.

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“We also look forward to the India-France-Australia trilateral meeting in New York later this month with our colleague Minister Penny Wong,” Jaishankar said as he welcomed Colonna at a meeting in New York. Delhi on Wednesday. He said India and France had also agreed that another trilateral initiative with the UAE would also be taken to the ministerial level given the positive feedback received from the talks between officials of the three countries.

“We want the Indo-Pacific to be an area of ​​stability, rule of law, prosperity and environmental protection,” Colonna said.

The India-France-Australia trilateral initiative has been in limbo since then-French foreigner Jean-Yves Le Drian pulled out of a proposed meeting with his Indian and Australian counterparts in New York l ‘last year. The meeting was cancelled.

France was upset by the decision of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to launch a new trilateral security alliance, AUKUS, to counter China’s hegemonic and expansionist aspirations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Also read: India to be cautious in its engagements with China

AUKUS is intended to focus on cooperation in the development of joint military capabilities and the sharing of defense technologies. It was launched with the stated aim of creating a framework for the US and UK to help Australia acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. The launch of the AUKUS sparked a strong backlash from President Emmanuel Macron’s government in Paris as it scuttled a $37 billion deal signed in 2016 for France to supply Australia with 12 submarines conventional.

France, however, in recent months has decided to make up with Australia.

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