World France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal
'Paradise': Australian states free of COVID resist opening
PERTH, Australia (AP) — It can seem like Australia’s west coast has almost entirely avoided COVID-19. A mask-free nightlife is thriving and huge crowds are turning out for sporting events, including 53,000 rugby fans who crammed into a Perth stadium to watch New Zealand’s All Blacks defeat Australia’s Wallabies on a recent sunny Sunday. “We are in paradise,” said one of those fans, Andrea Williams, who is all for the region continuing to defy the federal government and maintain strict border restrictions that keep it separated from the pandemic raging in large parts of the rest of Australia.
WASHINGTON – France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia on Friday in a growing protest over the Biden administration's decision to help Australia develop a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
Philippe Étienne, France's ambassador to the United States, and his counterpart in Australia were recalled to Paris "for consultations" at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's minister for Europe and foreign affairs.
"This extraordinary decision reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States," Le Drian said in a statement.
West Africans leaders to discuss Guinea's fate post-coup
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Guinea's coup leaders have set a number of conditions for releasing the deposed president, the foreign minister of Ghana said, ahead of a meeting Thursday where West African leaders are likely to consider sanctions. The regional bloc known as ECOWAS already has said it will impose penalties on the junta in Guinea unless it immediately releases deposed President Alpha Conde. He has been held at an undisclosed location since being detained during the Sept. 5 coup in Conakry.
The decision followsthat the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom are entering into a new partnership that will allow the three countries to share artificial intelligence, undersea capabilities and other advanced technologies.
Part of the agreement, which is meant to counter growing Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific, will involve the United States helping Australia develop a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
In light of its deal with the U.S., Australia has cancelled a submarine contract it had with the French, which various media reports have estimated to be worth between $50 billion and $90 billion. One Australian outlet had dubbed it the "contract of the century."
Overnight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France
It's Thursday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.French officials are furious over the Biden administration's decision to scrap a $40 billion nuclear submarine deal that the European nation had signed with Australia, lashing out at President Biden over a perceived hidden deal that sidelined Paris.We'll break down what caused the rift, how the French have reacted and the U.S. government's response.For The Hill, we're Ellen Mitchell and Rebecca Kheel. Write to us with tips: emitchell@thehill.
, which said it had been shut out of the talks.
In Friday's statement, Le Drian said the new security partnership and Australia's decision to abandon its submarine deal with France "constitute unacceptable behavior among allies and partners."
"Their consequences affect the very concept we have of our alliances, our partnerships, and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe," he said.
Macron has not commented publicly on the disagreement.
Friday's announcement that France was recalling its ambassadors marked its second act of protest against the submarine deal.
On Thursday, the French cancelled an embassy soiree that had been scheduled to take place Friday at the ambassador's residence in Washington to celebrate the U.S.-French alliance dating back to the American Revolutionary War.
The event was to mark the 240th anniversary of the "Battle of the Capes," a French naval victory over England near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. An embassy official said other parts of the annual celebration would still occur, including a wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday in Annapolis and the arrival of a French destroyer in Baltimore's harbor on Monday.
79 years after the first submarine-launched commando raid, Navy SEALs say it hasn't gotten any easier
Advances in technology since World War II have enabled far more complex submarine operations, but those operations are still challenging.Decades later, submarine special-operations have become a staple of the Navy SEAL Teams and one of the US military's most valuable capabilities.
The Biden administration attempted to smooth over the transcontinental contretemps on Thursday, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling France "a vital partner" on many issues, stretching back generations.
Blinken and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki both said the U.S. had notified French officials of the submarine deal before it was announced.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
U.K. Tells France to 'Get a Grip' Amid Fallout With U.S. Over Submarine Deal .
French officials have rallied supporters in the European Union to speak out against the tripartite security arrangement, which Paris has likened to betrayal.The U.K. prime minister spoke outside the White House on Wednesday following a 90-minute meeting with President Joe Biden. He was asked about lingering feelings of hurt in Paris and among European Union officials in Brussels.