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Scott Morrison seeks to calm Indonesia and Europe ahead of US visit

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We want to know what happened and why, and first of all to clarify this before continuing as if nothing happened.

Later Wednesday (AEST) Morrison will meet at dinner with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Australian Ambassadors’ Residence in Washington DC

During his phone call with Joko, Morrison said he would send a team to Jakarta for briefings on the new AUKUS partnership and Australia’s plans to develop a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

A summary of the appeal provided by the Prime Minister’s Office said Morrison assured Joko that Australia will maintain all of its nuclear non-proliferation agreements and that AUKUS will contribute to peace and stability and balance strategic in the region.

In a statement following the announcement of the submarines, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said it was deeply concerned about the continued arms race and the projection of power in the region, echoing concerns of other Southeast Asian countries.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has rejected Prime Minister Scott Morrisons' request to meet in Jakarta after his trip to the United States.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has rejected Prime Minister Scott Morrisons’ request to meet in Jakarta after his trip to the United States.Credit:PA

The Sydney Morning Herald and Age revealed last week that Joko had rejected Morrisons’ request to travel to Jakarta for a meeting after his trip to the United States, a move made before the submarines were announced.

In an effort to allay concerns in Southeast Asia, Australian Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Will Nankervis issued a statement stating that AUKUS no it is not an alliance or a defense pact.

The deal does not alter Australia’s commitment to ASEAN or our continued support for the ASEAN-led regional architecture, Nankervis said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was due to discuss the Indo-Pacific at a trilateral meeting in New York with Payne and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, but Payne was excluded from the meeting.

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This meeting will only take place for two [countries] for obvious reasons, Le Drian told the French newspaper West France in a clear reference to the canceled submarine contract.

The snub is notable because Payne and Le Drian had a close relationship dating back to their time as Defense Ministers when the submarine’s lucrative contract was made. Payne once called Le Drian a dear friend.

The Australian, French and Indonesian foreign ministers held their first trilateral meeting in May and said they intended to meet again before the end of the year.

Le Drian said the Australian crisis and the breach of the submarine deal had been added to the schedule for a meeting of EU foreign ministers where a draft free trade pact with the Australia should also be discussed.

The European Commission is leading the trade negotiations on behalf of the EU member states, but France is powerful enough to influence the continuation of the negotiations.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan is due to visit Europe next month for a new round of free trade talks.

European Commission chief spokesman Eric Mamer said the bloc was analyzing the impact of the UKUS announcement on the October talks and will have to see what decisions will be made on it.

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2/ https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/morrison-seeks-to-calm-indonesia-europe-sub-concerns-ahead-of-us-visit-20210921-p58tcr.html

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