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World France seeks European support after submarine deal surprise

18:00  20 september  2021
18:00  20 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

France accused Biden of stabbing it in the back and behaving like Trump after he cut it from a $50 billion defense contract without notice

  France accused Biden of stabbing it in the back and behaving like Trump after he cut it from a $50 billion defense contract without notice Australia cut France out of a deal to build its submarines after it set up a new security partnership with the US and UK.Australia cut France out of a $50 billion deal to build its submarines following the launch of a new security partnership between the UK, US, and Australia amid concerns about China's growing threat.

PARIS (AP) — France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty after being humiliated by major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S.

In this photo provided by U.S. Navy, French submarine FNS Amethyste (S605) transits the Thames River in preparation to arrive at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., Sept. 1, 2021. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, Sept. 17, rejected Chinese criticism of Australia's new nuclear submarine alliance with the United States and said he doesn’t mind that President Joe Biden might have forgotten his name. (Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joshua Karsten/U.S. Navy via AP): Australia Submarines © Provided by Associated Press Australia Submarines

Australia and Britain insisted Monday that the diplomatic crisis wouldn't affect their longer-term relations with France, which is seething over a surprise, strategic submarine deal involving the U.S., Australia and Britain that sank a rival French submarine contract.

France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for the first time because of the deal, and its anger is showing few signs of subsiding.

Budget overruns and culture clashes over long vacations plagued the $50 billion submarine deal France got booted from in favor of the US and UK

  Budget overruns and culture clashes over long vacations plagued the $50 billion submarine deal France got booted from in favor of the US and UK France was only given a few hours' warning that it had lost a lucrative submarine contract with Australia. But the deal had problems for years before.But the deal had been plagued for several years by culture clashes between the two countries as well as lengthy disputes over budgets.

FILE - In this June 15, 2021, file photo, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, in London. France would have known Australia had “deep and grave concerns” that a submarine fleet the French were building would not meet Australian needs, Prime Minister Morrison said on Sunday, Sept. 19, after cancelling the contract.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this June 15, 2021, file photo, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, in London. France would have known Australia had “deep and grave concerns” that a submarine fleet the French were building would not meet Australian needs, Prime Minister Morrison said on Sunday, Sept. 19, after cancelling the contract.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in New York to represent France at the U.N. General Assembly, is expected to give a news conference Monday to address the situation. He's also meeting with foreign ministers from the other 26 European Union nations in New York, where he will discuss the consequences of the submarine deal and France's vision for a more strategically independent Europe.

France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal

  France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal The diplomatic row came over a broken contract by Australia to buy French submarines in the wake of a new security pact by Australia, the US and the UK.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.

“It’s not just a Franco-Australian affair, but a rupture of trust in alliances,” Le Drian was quoted as saying in the French newspaper Ouest-France. “It calls for serious reflection about the very concept of what we do with alliances.”

France's Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault arrives at Sydney Airport, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Thebault has described as a © Provided by Associated Press Australia Submarines

Le Drian said he canceled a meeting with his Australian counterpart in New York “for obvious reasons." They had been scheduled to meet with the Indian foreign minister, but instead it will be a France-India meeting alone.

Le Drian said he has no meeting scheduled with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken while he's at the U.N., but might “pass him in the hallways."

While U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting the Australian and British leaders this week, he won't see French President Emmanuel Macron, who's not traveling to the U.N. Macron is staying in France and is expected to talk with Biden in the coming days about the submarine crisis, according to the French government.

Australia: France's recall of ambassador over subs regretful

  Australia: France's recall of ambassador over subs regretful CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia said Saturday it was noting with regret France’s recall of its ambassador over the surprise cancellation of a submarine contract in favor of a U.S. deal. France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday in an unprecedented show of anger over a deal among the United States, Australia and Britain to provide Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines. The dealFrance recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday in an unprecedented show of anger over a deal among the United States, Australia and Britain to provide Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines.

The submarine deal, known as AUKUS, will see Australia cancel a contract to buy diesel-electric French submarines and instead acquire nuclear-powered vessels from the U.S. The U.S., Australia and Britain say the deal bolsters their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and has widely been seen as a move to counter an increasingly assertive China.

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 file photo, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks in Weimar, Germany. France said late Friday, Sept. 17 it was immediately recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after Australia scrapped a big French conventional submarine purchase in favor of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.(Jens Schlueter/Pool Photo via AP, file) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 file photo, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks in Weimar, Germany. France said late Friday, Sept. 17 it was immediately recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after Australia scrapped a big French conventional submarine purchase in favor of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.(Jens Schlueter/Pool Photo via AP, file)

The French government appears to have been blindsided by the agreement, and feels its own strategic interests in the Pacific — thanks to its territories and military presence there — were ignored by major allies.

Australia Reminds France It's Always Supported Them Amid U.S. Submarine Deal Dustup

  Australia Reminds France It's Always Supported Them Amid U.S. Submarine Deal Dustup "Let's remember, tens of thousands of Australians died on French soil over two World Wars protecting France in France," Australia's Deputy Prime Minister said.France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials, and has recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for the first time in a rarely-seen move between allied countries.

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2021, file photo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne speaks during a news conference with Australian Minister of Defense Peter Dutton, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the State Department in Washington. Australia said on Saturday, Sept. 18, it regretted France’s decision to recall its ambassador over the surprise cancellation of a submarine contract. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File): Australia Submarines © Provided by Associated Press Australia Submarines

France's defense minister canceled a meeting with her British counterpart this week.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, insisted that Britain’s relationship with France is “ineradicable." Speaking on his way to New York, he said, “AUKUS is not in any way meant to be zero-sum, it’s not meant to be exclusionary. It’s not something that anybody needs to worry about and particularly not our French friends.”

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2019, file photo, French Ambassador in charge of the G7 summit preparations Jean-Pierre Thebault in Biarritz, southwestern France. Thebault, the French Ambassador to Australia has been recalled to Paris, Friday Sept. 17, 2021, over the surprise cancellation of a submarine contract between Australia and France. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP,File): Australia Submarines © Provided by Associated Press Australia Submarines

British officials have stressed the close military ties between the U.K. and France, including joint operations in Mali and Estonia.

In Australia, officials said France’s anger wouldn't derail negotiations on an Australia-European Union free trade deal.

French Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault denied media reports that France was lobbying the EU not to sign the trade deal with Australia that has been under negotiation since 2018.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said he would travel to Paris within weeks for trade negotiations and was “very keen to touch base with my French counterpart."

“I see no reason why those discussions won’t continue," Tehan said.

The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, said Monday they're analyzing the impact of the Australian submarine agreement.

Australia argues that the submarine deal was about protecting its strategic interests amid broad concern about China's growing assertiveness.

“I can understand how the French are upset and we obviously want this to pass and to us to work closely again. But let’s remember, tens of thousands of Australians died on French soil over two World Wars protecting France in France, and protecting France from the enemy that was going to invade France,” said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

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Rod McGuirk in Canberra and Jill Lawless in London contributed.

Biden holds first call with French President Macron since diplomatic crisis erupted .
President Joe Biden spoke for the first time Wednesday with French President Emmanuel Macron after a major diplomatic crisis exploded between the two longtime allies over a deal to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. © Leon Neal/Getty Images CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL - JUNE 11: US President Joe Biden, President of France, Emmanuel Macron and European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speak after posing for photos during the Leaders official welcome and family photo during the G7 Summit In Carbis Bay, on June 11, 2021 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

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