French Toast: France torches Australia, US over submarine deal as ambassador recalled

Jean-Pierre Thebault delivered his comments as he left his residence in the pandemie locked down capital of Canberra.

This has been a huge mistake, a very, very bad handling of the partnership,” Thebault said, explaining that the arms agreement between Paris and Canberra was supposed to be basedon trust, mutual understanding and sincerity.

France's Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault gestures as he arrives at Sydney Airport, Saterdag, Sept.. 18, 2021. Thebault has described as a "huge mistake" Australia's surprise cancellation of a major submarine contract in favor of a U.S. ooreenkoms, in an unprecedented show of anger among the allies. (AP Photo/David Gray)

France’s Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault gestures as he arrives at Sydney Airport, Saterdag, Sept.. 18, 2021. Thebault has described as ahuge mistakeAustralia’s surprise cancellation of a major submarine contract in favor of a U.S. ooreenkoms, in an unprecedented show of anger among the allies. (AP Photo/David Gray) (AP Photo/David Gray)

FRANCE RECALLS AMBASSADORS TO US AND AUSTRAILIA IN RESPONSE TO AUKUS NUCLEAR SUBMARINE PACT

Paris recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday to protest a deal among the United States, Australia and Brittanje to supply Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines.

Thebault flew out of Australia on a flight to Doha, Katar, rondom 17 hours after the announcement from Paris.

Die VSA. deal scraps a 90 billion Australian dollar ($ 66 miljard) contract with French majority state-owned Naval Group, signed in 2016, to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines.

I would like to be able to run into a time machine and be in a situation where we don’t end up in such an incredible, clumsy, inadequate, un-Australian situation,” the French ambassador added.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office earlier had issued a statement responding to the diplomat’s recall and noting Canberra’sregretover its ally’s withdrawal of its representative.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne speaks during a news conference with Australian Minister of Defense Peter Dutton, Staatsekretaris 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, lêer)

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne speaks during a news conference with Australian Minister of Defense Peter Dutton, Staatsekretaris 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, lêer) (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, lêer)

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS US-AUSTRAILIA SUBMARINE DEAL A ‘STAB IN THE BACK’

Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests,” lui die verklaring. It added that Australia values its relationship with France and looked forward to future engagements together.

Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton are currently in the United States for annual talks with their U.S. counterparts and their first with President Joe Biden’s administration.

Before he was recalled, French envoy Thebault said on Friday he found out about the U.S. submarine deal: “Like everybody, thanks to the Australian press.

We never were informed about any substantial changes,” Thebault said. “There were many opportunities and many channels. Never was such a change mentioned.

After the U.S. deal was made public this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he told French President Emanuel Macron in June that there werevery real issues about whether a conventional submarine capabilitywould address Australia’s strategic security needs in the Indo-Pacific.

Morrison has not specifically referred to China s’n massive military buildup which had gained pace in recent years.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Jerusalem this week for a Holocaust memorial conference.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Jerusalem this week for a Holocaust memorial conference. (AP)

FRANCE ISSUES ANGRY RESPONSE TO NUCLEAR SUBMARINE DEAL BETWEEN US, Verenigde Koninkryk, AUSTRAILIA

Morrison was in Paris on his way home from a Group of Seven nations summit in Britain where he had talks with soon-to-be-alliance partners Biden and Britse premier Boris Johnson. Thebault said he had also been at the meeting with Macron and Morrison.

Morrison mentionedthere were changes in the regional situation,” but gave no indication that Australia was considering changing to nuclear propulsion, Thebault said.

Everything was supposed to be done in full transparency between the two partners,” hy het bygevoeg.

Thebault said difficulties the project had encountered were normal for its scale and large transfers of technologies.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement on Friday that recalling the two ambassadors, on request from Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcementsmade by Australia and the United States.

Le Drian said Australia’s decision to scrap the submarine purchase in favor of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology isunacceptable behavior between allies and partners.

Senior opposition lawmaker Mark Dreyfus called on the Australian government to fix its relationship with France.

The impact on our relationship with France is a concern, particularly as a country with important interests in our region,” Dreyfus said.

The French were blindsided by this decision and Mr. Morrison should have done much more to protect the relationship,” hy het bygevoeg.

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