France will defend its interests in talks on EU-Australia free trade agreement — official

According to the French Foreign Ministry, it is necessary to ensure that the nature of the collective discussion becomes more global

PARIS, September 20. /TASS/. France will defend its interests in discussions on the free trade agreement between the EU and Australia, a representative of the French Foreign Ministry said at a briefing on Monday.

The ministry noted that the European Commission has the mandate to hold such talks. “France will defend its interests within this mandate, as we always do,” the ministry official said.

According to the French Foreign Ministry, it is necessary to ensure that the nature of the collective discussion becomes more global.

The next round of negotiations between the trade departments of Australia and the EU is scheduled for October 12. The parties are expected to focus on the removal of the 12% tariff on Australian minerals, metals and chemicals under the free trade agreement.

On September 15, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a new security partnership. Under this agreement, Australia, in particular, plans to build at least eight nuclear submarines with the help of British and American technologies. The first submarines will enter operational service in 2036.

Australia also plans to reequip its armed forces with American cruise missiles. To do this, Canberra broke a defense contract with France, saying that it longer meet its national interests. In response, Paris accused the Australian authorities of deliberate lies and recalled the ambassadors from Australia and the US for consultations.

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