Australia says it was 'upfront' with France over submarine deal as crisis continues
Added 09-19-21 12:04:02am EST - “Australia was "upfront, open and honest" with France about its concerns over a deal for French submarines, its defence minister said on Sunday, as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic…” - News.yahoo.com
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia was "upfront, open and honest" with France about its concerns over a deal for French submarines, its defence minister said on Sunday, as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic crisis.
Australia ditched the 2016 deal with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines, announcing on Thursday a plan to build at least eight nuclear-powered ones with U.S. and British technology in a trilateral security partnership.
The move infuriated France, a NATO ally of the United States and Britain, prompting it to recall its ambassadors (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australian-pm-says-he-made-clear-france-possibility-scrapping-submarine-deal-2021-09-17) from Washington and Canberra, and riled China (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-get-us-nuclear-submarine-technology-china-looms-large-2021-09-15), the major rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.
The deal has put Washington in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with France that analysts say could do lasting damage to the U.S. alliance with France and Europe, throwing also throws into doubt the united front (https://www.reuters.com/world/french-break-up-blow-bidens-china-focused-alliance-rebuilding-2021-09-18) that the Biden administration has been seeking to forge against China's growing power.
Paris has called the cancellation a stab in the back (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/australia-made-huge-mistake-cancelling-submarine-deal-says-french-ambassador-2021-09-18), with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian saying relations with the United States and Australia were in a "crisis".
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