Highlights

  • France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over submarine deal
  • US-Australia signed multi-billion dollar military deal
  • Paris lost a multi-billion dollar submarine contract after US-Australia deal

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France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over sub deal

It’s also unclear whether more slights are planned and if France is expecting a US overture in order to move on. 

France has recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia after Australia scrapped a big French conventional submarine purchase in favour of nuclear subs built with US technology.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a written statement said 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.

He said Wednesday's announcement of Australia's submarine deal with the US is "unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners." Earlier on Friday, a top French diplomat spoke of a "crisis" in relations with the US.

The diplomat, who spoke anonymously in line with customary government practice, said that for Paris "this is a strategic question concerning the very nature of the relationship between Europe and the United States about the Indo-Pacific strategy." He would not speculate on the effects the situation would have on France's relationship with the US. "There's a crisis," he stressed.

Also watch: 'That fella down under': U.S. President Joe Biden forgets Australian PM's name

Macron has not commented on the issue since US President Joe Biden's announcement of a strategic Indo-Pacific alliance with Australia and Britain, leading France to lose a nearly $100 billion deal to build diesel-electric submarines.

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