France: Australia's Cancelation of Submarine Deal Undermines Europe
The French Foreign Ministry reiterates its criticism of Australia's decision to withdraw from a submarine deal with Paris.
France renewed its criticism of Australia's decision to withdraw from the submarine deal with Paris, expressing that this not only undermines confidence in France but in Europe as a whole.
French Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Bonn told France 24 that trusting Australia would be difficult in the future.
Bonn stressed the need to react, emphasizing that this was not only a French issue but a European one and action should be taken to enhance the ability of Europe to visualize strategic and defense independence.
French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thibault declared that Australia had made a serious diplomatic mistake backing out of the deal.
On Thursday, Australia announced that it would cancel the deal agreed upon in 2016 with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with American and British technology after concluding a security partnership with the two countries.
France recalled both its ambassadors to Australia and the US for "consultations" on Friday, in an unprecedented move towards two historical allies, in the aftermath of Australia's cancellation of a major deal with France to purchase submarines in order to make a new deal with Washington for the same purpose.
US National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Emily Horne said the US understands France's decision to recall its Ambassador from Washington for consultations in protest of the signing of the AUKUS pact.
The quarrel is the worst in Australia-France ties since 1995 when Canberra protested Paris' plan to resume nuclear testing in the South Pacific and withdrew its ambassador for talks.