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Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row

Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row, BBC, By Alex Therrien, 21 Sep 21,
BBC News France’s defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart as the row continues over a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia.

Paris is angry after Australia signed the Aukus pact to build nuclear-powered submarines, pulling out of a major contract with France in the process.

UK PM Boris Johnson said France had nothing to worry about from the deal.

But Florence Parly’s meeting with UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in London this week has been called off.,,,,,,,,,,, Lord Ricketts, a former British ambassador to France who was due to co-chair the two days of talks, confirmed the meeting between Mr Wallace and Ms Parly had been “postponed to a later date”.

……… In a rare step among allies, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.

The European Union has said it was “analysing” the impact of the Aukus agreement on its trade negotiations with Australia, which are due to resume in October.

BBC Brussels correspondent Jessica Parker said it appeared the EU had hardened up its position over the weekend, as the extent of France’s anger became clear.

She said the European Commission wouldn’t elaborate on what “analysing” the impact of Aukus could actually mean for the trade talks with Australia – but the language might lead to speculation that negotiations could even be suspended…

The agreement means Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

The pact will also see the allies share cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other undersea technologies.

But it has been criticised by China, which has accused the three powers of having a “Cold War mentality”………….  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58620220

September 21, 2021 - Posted by | France, politics international

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