Interview with Ambassador Gaël Veyssière

In an interview with the weekly Nacional, Ambassador Gaël Veyssière raised several current issues, including the crisis linked to the termination of the FSP contract with Australia and the creation of the AUKUS alliance. He recalled the context: “It is not only a problem of commercial or military cooperation, but above all a question of confidence and method between allies.” The Ambassador recalled that France was not alone in reacting and that the EU had clearly expressed its support for France. Mr. Veyssière recalled the progress made since the start of the crisis, with the talks between Presidents Macron and Biden, in particular the "United States' support for European defense and, in fact, for European strategic autonomy" . "We are at the start of the road to rebuild the trust and it will take time"

Asked about the “deal of the century” with Croatia - purchase of 12 Rafale - and on bilateral political and military relations, the ambassador said that bilateral technical discussions and the drafting of trade agreements “are progressing well”. “If we manage to sign them before the end of the year, the first planes will arrive in Croatia in 2024 exactly as planned". Mr. Veyssière denied rumors about a "deal" between President Macron and Prime Minister Plenković (selection of French planes in exchange for France's support for a candidacy of Plenković for a responsible position within the European institutions), mentioned by Nacional.

He concluded by recalling that the choice of the Rafale "sends a certain political and strategic signal. Having chosen French and European planes, Croatia expresses its willingness to participate in the strengthening of common European defence, which is of course compatible with NATO (...) ”.