Paris relations with US, Australia, UK growing tense following Canberra cancel multi-billion deal
ISLAMABAD, September,20 (Asia Free Press): Diplomatic tension between France, US, Australia and UK growing up as Paris cancelled its defence talks with London, British media reported.
France’s defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart amid the row prompted by a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia, BBC reported.
Lord Ricketts, a former British ambassador to France who was due to co-chair the two days of talks, confirmed the meeting had been “postponed to a later date”, according to the report.
Paris has recalled its envoy from US and Australia following Australia signed its multi-billion AUKUS pact to build nuclear-powered submarines, pulling out of a major contract with France in the process.
Last week, French foreign minister termed the US, UK and Australia action as “stab in the back”.
Foreign Office minister James Cleverly told BBC Breakfast that “all bilateral relationships go through periods of tension”, but added: “I have absolutely no doubt that ultimately our relationship with France will endure.”
On Friday, Paris recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia after the latter in a surprise move ditched a deal with France in which it would have bought diesel-powered submarines in favor of the AUKUS pact that would see the US share nuclear technology with Canberra in order to build nuclear-powered submarines with the UK.
The announcement of the pact infuriated France as it saw its now dead-in-the-water deal with Australia as a strategic opportunity to extend its influence in the Far East and the Pacific and act as a bulwark to aggressive Chinese expansion in the region and especially in the South China Sea.