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France angry about nuclear submarine cancelleation – recalls ambassadors to Australia, USA.

France vents subs anger with recall of Australian, US envoys, AFR Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent Sep 18, 2021 –London | France has issued a diplomatic slap in the face to Canberra and Washington, recalling its ambassadors to vent its displeasure at the cancellation of Australia’s $90 billion submarine contract with state-controlled defence company Naval Group.

The move signals a potentially serious rupture in Franco-Australian relations, after Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly described Australia’s switch to a maritime security pact with the US and Britain as “a stab in the back”.

This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States,” Mr Le Drian said in a statement on Friday (Saturday AEST).

“The cancellation of the Attack class submarine program binding Australia and France since 2016, and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States meant to launch studies on a possible future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitute unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners.”

Mr Le Drian said the “consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe”………

Although Australia’s French embassy has issued a statement arguing that the decision was made purely on technical grounds, the French government and commentariat has interpreted it as a political decision – and it will potentially rankle for years to come…… https://www.afr.com/world/europe/france-vents-subs-anger-with-recall-of-us-australian-envoys-20210918-p58srz

September 19, 2021 - Posted by | France, politics international

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