The French government has reportedly recalled ambassadors to the United States and Australia over a multi-billion dollar defense deal.
Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire tweeted Friday afternoon, “France recalls its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia in submarine deal backlash, French foreign minister says.” (RELATED: ‘A Stab In The Back’: France Cancels US Gala After Biden Announces New Defense Partnership With Australia, Britain)
PARIS (AP) — France recalls its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia in submarine deal backlash, French foreign minister says.
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) September 17, 2021
French Foreign Minister Mr. Jean-Ives Le Drian issued a statement saying that the U.S. and Australia had exhibited “unacceptable behavior” for allies and partners.
France recalls its ambassadors from the US and Australia: pic.twitter.com/grUOCOpiNR
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) September 17, 2021
The French had brokered a deal — worth some $65 billion U.S. dollars — to provide Australia with diesel submarines in order to bolster the nation’s defenses against China, but Australia backed out of the agreement and instead chose to get nuclear submarines from the U.S. in a trilateral deal including the United Kingdom.
France viewed the trilateral partnership, known as AUKUS, as a betrayal, issuing a statement saying that the move to exclude them from the deal “shows a lack of coherence that [France] can only note and regret.”
“The 🇺🇸 choice to exclude a 🇪🇺 ally and partner such as 🇫🇷 from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region (…) shows a lack of coherence that 🇫🇷 can only note and regret.”https://t.co/ruGnJkQAWa
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) September 16, 2021
The French Embassy also took several actions in apparent retaliation for the slight.
Amid a rift over a new security agreement between the US, Australia and UK, the French Embassy in DC has canceled a reception and toned down celebrations commemorating a Revolutionary War naval victory by the French that helped the US win its independence https://t.co/GIyHTTBsay
— CNN (@CNN) September 16, 2021
In addition to recalling ambassadors from at least two of the offending nations, the embassy scaled back events commemorating a Revolutionary War naval battle and ditched plans entirely for a reception that was to be held there.