Tuesday January 31, 2023

France praises ‘strategic intimacy’ with Indonesia

November 27, 2022

Jakarta: France´s defence minister met his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta on Friday, lauding the close ties between the two countries following an $8 billion fighter jet deal signed earlier this year.

“There is a powerful strategic intimacy that is being born with Indonesia and France,” French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu told AFP. Indonesia placed an order for 42 of France´s Rafale fighter jets in an $8.1 billion deal agreed to in February. The two countries are also in talks over the purchase of two French Scorpene-class attack submarines.

Lecornu met his counterpart Prabowo Subianto as Indonesia prepares to take over the rotating presidency of the regional block the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. France wants to further strengthen ties in Southeast Asia “to be in a position to fight against escalation, to rearm and to be in a situation to have credible diplomacy,” Lecornu said.

He added that France also needed to remain engaged “politically” in the area, stressing that Paris wanted to play a multilateral role in the region.

France reacted with fury last year when Australia, UK and the US revealed the AUKUS pact, which saw US supply Australia with nuclear-powered subs, ditching a French contract.