France called its ambassadors in the United States and Australia for consultations on Friday after the announcement by those two countries of the signing of a defense contract that involves the cancellation of an order for French submarines. The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, assured that the measure is justified by “the exceptional gravity” of the decision to cancel that contract, an “unacceptable behavior between allies.”
The decision to call the ambassadors for consultations, unprecedented with those countries, represents another step in the diplomatic tension of France, the United States and Australia, after the announcement of the agreement between Washington and Canberra last Wednesday, which already caused great discomfort in Paris. Le Drian harshly criticized in a statement “the abandonment of the ocean-class submarine project that linked Australia with France since 2016 and the announcement of a new cooperation agreement with the United States to launch studies on a new cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines. “.RELATED
The head of French diplomacy considered that this behavior will have consequences “that will affect the very conception that France has of its alliances” and of “the importance of the Indo-Pacific region for Europe.” The tension was generated after last Wednesday the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia announced a defense alliance in the Indo-Pacific region whose first effect is the announcement of the cancellation of a contract that Canberra had signed with Paris for the purchase of submarines. conventional valued at about 56,000 million euros. In return, Australia agrees to study the purchase of US nuclear-powered submarines.
Le Drian had already criticized that decision, which he considered typical of the administration of the previous US president, Donald Trump, and demanded explanations from the parties for what he described as “treason.” “This is not done between allies,” he stressed in an interview the day after the announcement of that agreement, which established the delivery of the first of the ships in 2023. France also decided to cancel a gala party that its embassy had planned in Washington as a measure of protest for that decision.