On Friday, in an unlikely diplomatic crisis, France recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia. The development comes over a deal forged in secrecy that saw Paris lose a multi-billion dollar submarine contract. Reportedly, Paris has never gone so far as to remove its envoy to Washington.
With this stern step, the French officials have already canceled a gala in Washington and Baltimore this week meant to celebrate Franco-American ties. The decision comes two days after, Australia’s Scott Morrison unveiled plans to buy nuclear-powered submarines in a joint announcement with U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson. However, the deal scraps a 90 billion Australian dollar (USD 66 billion) contract with the French majority state-owned Naval Group, signed in 2016, to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines.
The announcement about the envoys was made by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Brian denounced the deal as, ‘unacceptable behavior between allies and partners’. Brian added that the deal affected the conception of their alliances, their partnerships, and the significance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.
Meanwhile, the White House official mentioned that the administration will try to resolve its differences with Paris. Both France and the U.S. would continue to cooperate on issues including the pandemic and security.
The loss of the Australian submarine deal is a personal blow for President Emmanuel Macron. In June, Macron invited Morrison to Paris after the Group of Seven summit, and the two discussed the contract with the state-owned Naval Group.