France recalls envoys from US, Australia over submarine deal

Paris, Sep 17 (EFE).- France announced Friday the recall of its ambassadors to the United States and Australia after Canberra decided to cancel a $65 billion contract for French submarines based on a pledge by Washington to supply nuclear-powered subs.

The nuclear-powered subs are part of a new military alliance linking the US, Australia and the United Kingdom (AUKUS), presented by President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Premier Boris Johnson on Wednesday at a virtual joint press conference.

“Unacceptable behavior between allies,” was how French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described this week’s events as he ordered his country’s envoys to return from the US and Australia.

“The consequences touch the very concept that we have of alliances, our partnerships and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe,” he said in a statement.

“It’s really a stab in the back,” Le Drian said. “This brutal and unilateral decision resembles a lot of what (former US President Donald) Trump is doing.”

Five years ago, Australia selected French shipbuilder Naval Group over rival German and Japanese companies to build 12 conventionally powered attack submarines. EFE


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