Photo Credit: Florence Parly/Facebook

French Minister of the Armed Forces to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore this weekend

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, will be in Singapore tomorrow (1 June) to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international conference dedicated to security and defense in the Indo-Pacific region.

Deemed as an important geopolitical and strategic meeting, the Shangri-La Dialogue gathers political and military authorities from around 50 countries annually.

During the dialogue, Ms Parly will be delivering an address on the evolution of security situation and the French defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific area. This strategy is a straight continuation of the founding speech pronounced on 2nd May 2018 by Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, at Garden Island in Australia.

Ms Parly will also meet with Singaporean authorities and her counterparts from the region. She will also meet the crew of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, deployed in the frame of the “Mission Clemenceau” since three months and currently anchored in Singapore in conjunction with the Shangri-La Dialogue.

The aircraft carrier in Singapore

The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle leads the “Mission Clemenceau” since last 5th March, date of its departure from Toulouse, and until mid-July. It is the aircraft carrier’s second stop in Singapore since 2002.

During its deployment, Charles de Gaulle contributed to the protection of the French by joining the global coalition against Daesh in the frame of Inherent Resolve operation.

It also shares its expertise regarding air and sea operations by training with numerous strategic local partners in the Asia-Pacific zone including the United States, India, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

The “Mission Clemenceau” is a powerful catalyst for France’s international cooperation and influence. It supports France’s defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific area where maritime stakes, including European imports, are critical.

France’s strategic interest with the Indo-Pacific area

The Indo-Pacific region, which spreads from eastern African coasts to the western Americas coasts, is of strategic interest for France.

France is indeed a legitimate and established actor in the region, with almost 1.6 million of citizens living in the region, overseas territories housing several permanent military bases and major economic interests in the area.

In an evolving geostrategic environment, France aims to fully contribute to the strategic stability of the Indo-Pacific area by reaffirming the importance of multilateral dialogue, the role of the institutions and collective security organs and the central importance of the respect of international law.

If that is not all, it is also an area directly affected by climate change issues: sea-level rise, natural disasters.

France, which has the world’s second largest Economic Exclusive Zone, sees climatic issues as a priority as much for its citizens’ protection than for marine ecosystems’ protection.