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France sees “crisis” over submarine cancellation


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during a city tour with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau to mark the 30th anniversary of the “Weimar Triangle” in Weimar, Germany September

PARIS (Reuters) – France is in a “crisis” with the United States and Australia after Canberra’s cancellation of a multi-billion dollar submarine order led Paris to recall envoys from its allies, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

France announced Friday that it would recall its Ambassadors to Washington and Canberra in protest at a trilateral security agreement also including Britain, which was responsible for the sinking of Paris’ submarine contract.

France 2 TV’s Le Drian stated that the recall of France’s ambassador to consult is the most serious political move in American and French relations.

He said, “There have been duplicity and contempt. You can’t do that in an alliance.”

After striking a trilateral security agreement, Canberra said on Thursday that it will scrap the 2016 deal with France’s Naval Group for a fleet conventional submarines. Instead, Canberra plans to construct at least eight nuclear-powered subs with U.S. technology.

Le Drian stated that the French president Emmanuel Macron has not had a conversation with Joe Biden regarding the submarine problem.

Again, the minister drew parallels between Trump’s act and Trump’s unpredictability. Biden had done it “without tweets but with an almost inhumane announcement.”

Le Drian also criticized Paris’s opportunism in joining hands with Washington and Canberra. He called London the “spare tyre” for this initiative.

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