In escalation over submarine deal, France recalls envoys from US and Australia

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France plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with the United States and Australia on Sept. 17 after it recalled its ambassadors from both countries over a trilateral security deal that sank a French-designed submarine contract with Canberra. The rare decision taken by French President Emmanuel Macron was made due to the “exceptional gravity” of the matter, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement. On Sept. 16, Australia said it would scrap a $40 billion (¥4.38 trillion) deal signed in 2016 for France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership. France called it a stab in the back. A diplomatic source in France said it was the first time Paris had recalled its ambassadors in this way. Australia said Sept. 18 it regretted the recall, and that it valued the relationship with France and would keep engaging with Paris on other issues. (Reuters) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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