• On Thursday, Australia stated that it will cancel the deal signed with the France Naval Group in 2016 to build a fleet of conventional submarines
• Australia added that it has entered a trilateral security partnership with the US, Britain and would build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines
• Thebault stated that the submarine order was a partnership that was presumed to be built on trust, mutual understanding, and sincerity
On Saturday, Jean-Pierre Thebault, the Ambassador of France to Australia, stated that Australia has made a “huge” diplomatic error after Canberra signed deals with the United States, Britain and ditched a multibillion-dollar contract for French submarines.
In his address, Thebault said that he thinks this was a “huge mistake” and very bad handling of their partnership, he added that the submarine order was not a contract, but a partnership that was presumed to be built on trust, mutual understanding, and sincerity.
On Thursday, Australia stated that it will cancel the deal signed with the France Naval Group in 2016 to build a fleet of conventional submarines and added that it has entered a trilateral security partnership with the US, Britain in order to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.
France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia and said that the cancellation of the $40 billion deal that was signed in 2016 was a stab in the back.
Ambassador Thebault said that if possible, he would like to run into a time machine, and be in a situation where France doesn’t end up in such an incredible, clumsy, inadequate un-Australian situation. Thebault added that he is sad to be forced to leave, though some reassessment needs to be made.
Australia stated that they value their relationship with France and regrets the recall of the French ambassador, and added that they would continue to work with Paris on other issues. Marise Payne, an Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, stated that they understand the deep disappointment of France with their decision, however, it was taken as per their communicated national security interests.