Today, 20 September, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell met with the Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne, in the margins of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA). The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the latest developments as well as EU-Australia relations.
High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Foreign Minister Payne discussed the recent announcement of a security partnership by the US, United Kingdom and Australia and the cancellation of the submarine contract with France. He inquired about the lack of prior consultations and regretted that this partnership excludes European partners, who have a strong presence in the Pacific. The current challenges to stability in the region call for more cooperation and coordination among likeminded partners. The High Representative/Vice-President informed that the EU will reflect and discuss this internally, as well as with EU Member States.
They also discussed the strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific and the relevance of the recently adopted EU strategy for cooperation in the region. The Strategy is testament to the importance that the EU attaches to the region and sets out concrete actions to take concrete steps to advance cooperation with partners in the region.
They agreed to remain in touch on EU-Australia relations, and to work towards overcoming the challenges created by recent events.