France Recalls Ambassadors From The US And Australia
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian earlier said the country’s ambassadors to the United States and Australia had been recalled to Paris for consultations over Canberra’s breakdown of the submarine contract. According to RTL radio, this is the first time Paris has ever taken such a step towards these countries.
Australia had previously entered into a defence and security partnership with the UK and the US, AUKUS, when it announced it was pulling out of a submarine agreement with France’s Naval Group. The A$90 billion (€56 billion) agreement, dubbed the « contract of the century », called for the construction of 12 Barracuda-class attack submarines.
Le Drian called Canberra’s decision to tear up the agreement a « stab in the back », adding that trust had been undermined by this move. The French foreign minister said he was « furious at the breakdown of this contract ». Paris said it was awaiting explanations from both Australia and the United States.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horn said that the US administration was in close contact with the French authorities following their decision to recall the ambassador from Washington for consultations and intended to devote the coming days to resolving the bilateral differences